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Sloane Stephens headed to possible rematch with Serena Williams

August 30, 2013|By Diane Pucin
  • Sloane Stephens has advanced to the fourth round of the U.S. Open.
Sloane Stephens has advanced to the fourth round of the U.S. Open. (Don Emmert / AFP/Getty Images )

NEW YORK---Sloane Stephens, who upset Serena Williams at the Australian Open earlier this year, seems headed for a rematch.

Stephens, seeded 15th at the U.S. Open, dominated fellow American Jamie Hampton and won 6-1, 6-3 over the 23rd-seeded Hampton.

Williams had been hampered by a sprained ankle when she lost to Stephens in the Australian Open quarterfinals 3-6, 7-5, 6-4. Stephens ended a 20-match Williams winning streak with that victory and the two haven't been chummy since then.

"I just tried to play my best," Stephens said. "Jamie's a friend. Luckily I got the 'W.' This year's been a learning process for me. I've improved so much. I've been working hard.

"I need to just play my best, play my game, that's what I'm going to count on," Stephens said.

Williams plays doubles specialist Yaroslava Shvedova later Friday night and if she wins would face Stephens in a fourth round match, likely during the day on Sunday when CBS will be televising the tournament.

Williams is the No. 1 seed and defending champion here. Stephens, 20, is into the fourth round of the U.S. Open for the first time and besides beating Williams in Australia defeated world No. 3 Maria Sharapova in Cincinnati two weeks ago. She has reached at least the fourth round of the previous three majors this year -- the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

Stephens is one of only three players (Victoria Azarenka and Sabine Lisicki are the others) to beat Williams this year.

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