Sloane Stephens overcomes injury to progress in Cincinnati, but Garbine Muguruza crashes out

Sloane Stephens progresses in Cincinnati

US Open champion Sloane Stephens overcame a thumb injury to keep her hopes alive at the Cincinnati Masters.

The third seed required on-court assistance, where a trainer bandaged the injury during the second set, but it wasn’t enough to stop her steamrollering qualifier Tatjana Maria 6-3 6-2.

Life wasn’t quite as simple for defending champion Garbine Muguruza, though.

The Spaniard threw away a 4-2 lead inthe third set to sink to a painful 2-6 6-4 6-4 defeat to Lesia Tsurenko.

One positive for Muguruza, however, was that there were no signs of the arm injury that has blighted her over the last couple of weeks on the WTA Tour.

“I’m happy that I didn’t feel pain,” she said. “I’m going to take that positive and keep training for the U.S. Open.”

Meanwhile, fourth seed Angelique Kerber had to endure a long rain delay before eventually booking her place in the next round.

The reigning Wimbledon champion struggled early on, but eased to a 4-6 7-5 6-4 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.