NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Serena Williams avenged her major loss to Sloane Stephens, pulling away from the young American for a 6-4, 6-1 win to return to the U.S. Open quarterfinals.
“She’s definitely a good player, so it felt like something bigger, but I just had to stay focused for the moment,” Williams said in an on-court interview.
In the rematch Sunday, the 16-time Grand Slam champion served big and controlled points against the 20-year-old. From 4-4 in the first set, Williams won eight of the last nine games.
“The whole time I just tried to do what I wanted,” she said. “Stay calm, stay relaxed, stay composed.”
Follow Live: US Open Scoreboard
The 15th-seeded Stephens hung with the defending champ for most of the first set. After Williams broke to go up 4-2, she broke right back.
Serving at 4-5, Stephens had six of her 29 unforced errors. She was able to save two set points, but twice failed to capitalize when she had a chance to close out the game.
When Stephens hit a forehand wide, Williams had the set, and she took over from there.
“Obviously, she’s No. 1 in the world for a reason,” Stephens said. “I thought she played really well herself. Obviously, it didn’t go how I wanted. The second set got away from me a little bit. All in all, I thought I competed well and played well. That’s all you can do, really.”
Williams will face 18th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro, who needed 2 hours, 41 minutes to edge eighth-seeded Angelique Kerber 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3).
(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
You May Also Be Interested In These Stories