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Stephens Secures QF Spot

Despite being bageled in the second set, Sloane Stephens was a second round winner at the Citi Open on Tuesday.

Published July 31, 2012 11:18

Stephens Secures QF Spot
Sloane Stephens

WASHINGTON DC, USA - Although all three seeds in action on Tuesday at the Citi Open advanced, none of them did so in more bizarre fashion than third-seeded American Sloane Stephens.

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Stephens recorded a 62 06 61 second round victory over fellow 19-year-old Michelle Larcher de Brito. Despite going three sets, the match took just one hour and 20 minutes - with both players winning 65 points. Nevertheless, in booking a quarterfinal berth, Stephens has her best result since a semifinal showing at Strasbourg in May.

"I think I've done really well the past couple of days regrouping and getting back to my game plan and staying focused," Stephens said of dropping a lopsided second set for the second straight day. "I'm happy with that. It's crazy, but you just have to work through it."

Playing her first WTA match as a No.1 seed, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated freshly crowned Baku Cup champion Bojana Jovanovski. The Russian came into this tournament just 12-18 on the year, though she did make the quarterfinals of two of her past three events. She had a relatively easy time with Jovanovski, securing a 64 63 win to take a 2-1 lead in their series.

"I'm really happy with the match because it's not an easy first round, especially with Jovanovski coming off winning her first title just last week in Baku," Pavlyuchenkova said. "She definitely has a lot of confidence right now. It's my first time in Washington, and the conditions are difficult here - very humid and hot. So I think I did a good job today."

Pavlyuchenkova said she is over not making the Russian Olympic team.

"I'm 200% into this tournament," said Pavlyuchenkova, who is working with Darren Cahill this week. "Of course, I'm a little disappointed because the Olympics is a very special event and everyone wants to play in it. Last year I was definitely in. I was No.3 in Russia, but unfortunately I haven't done well this year and dropped a few points. I believe I'll make the Olympics in the future, as I still have time. I already forgot about it and I'm focused on this one now."

Making a final eight for the first time in almost two years was Chang Kai-Chen, a 75 64 winner over Johanna Larsson. Also, fourth-seeded Vania King won her opener over fellow American Jennifer Elie, 63 64.

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