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Stephens Moves On In New Haven

No.6 seed Sloane Stephens was victorious in the first round of the New Haven Open at Yale, while Klara Zakopalova was among those pulling off upsets.

Published August 19, 2013 12:00

Stephens Moves On In New Haven
Klara Zakopalova

NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - Sloane Stephens shook off a tough loss in Cincinnati with a routine triumph in her New Haven Open at Yale opener on Monday.

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The sixth-seeded Stephens matched her biggest win in terms of ranking in upsetting World No.3 Maria Sharapova in the second round last week. However, in the third round against Jelena Jankovic she was two points from victory but was unable to close it out.

In action again in the last chance for competition before the US Open, the sixth-seeded Stephens was a 64 64 winner over 18-year-old qualifier Anna Schmiedlova.

"I had some ups and downs but overall I thought I played pretty well," Stephens said. "She obviously is a good player. I'm just happy to get through."

Stephens commented on the US Open, which starts next week.

"The US Open is something every American looks forward to," Stephens said. "I'm just really excited to go to New York. Hopefully I'm going to do my best in New Haven before heading there."

Likely the best hope for New Haven's first American champ since Lindsay Davenport in 2005, Stephens next takes on Julia Goerges.

The other two seeds in daytime action on Monday were not as fortunate, as both No.5 seed Roberta Vinci and No.8 seed Dominika Cibulkova went down.

Carla Suárez Navarro's 75 63 defeat of Vinci wasn't a huge surprise, though, as the Spaniard is a Top 20 player herself and is now 4-1 in their series.

"It was a very good match," Suárez Navarro said. "Vinci came from Cincinnati and was a little bit tired, I think, but it was still tough. She is playing very good this year. It was a good win for me."

The competition stays tough for Suárez Navarro in the second round, where she will take on Simona Halep, a 62 61 winner over Daniela Hantuchova. The Romanian's banner season continued last week with her first hardcourt WTA quarterfinal showing in Cincinnati.

As for Cibulkova, she was up 63 21 on Klara Zakopalova before the Czech rallied for a 26 63 63 win - her third straight in their series. Promising Puerto Rican teen Monica Puig will be Zakopalova's second round opponent.

Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina were also among the daytime winners, setting up second round encounters with top-seeded Sara Errani and second-seeded Angelique Kerber, respectively.

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