Wednesday, August 14, 2013

CINCY 2013: Sloane Stephens(17) Beats Sharapova(3)

Sloane Stephens came back from a set down to earn her first win against 4-time major champion Maria Sharapova 2-6 7-6(5) 6-3 in the 2nd round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on Tuesday. It was the young American's second Top 5 win of the year (and of her career). Thanks to excellent results in the majors, the 20-year-old American is now ranked 17 in the world and is expected to enter the Top 10 by the end of the year.

It was Sharapova's first match with living legend Jimmy Connors as her coach and her first match since losing in the 2nd round of Wimbledon on Wacky Wednesday when 7 former #1's were bounced from the tournament on the same day. Sharapova made many more errors than winners, finishing with 62 unforced errors to just 16 winners. It was Stephens first win in 4 meetings with Sharapova.

On the men's side of the tournament Roger Federer won his first match as a 32 year old, defeating Philip Kohlschreiber in a surprisingly close 6-3 7-6(7). Federer has returned to his regularly sized racquet after trying out a larger head size in two summer clay court tournaments where he lost to two unheralded players in Gstaad and Hamburg. He had lost to three players outside the top 50 in a row and has fallen to #5 in the ATP rankings. However, he is the defending champion at the ATP Cincinnati Masters and hopes to gain enough confidence here to do well in New York at the US Open in two weeks.

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