Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens suffered a shock first-round loss to world number 217 Katie Swan on day one of the Bad Homburg Open.

British player Swan, who will be competing on a wildcard at Wimbledon, scored a 2-6 6-4 6-2 victory over her American opponent.

Although Stephens has not been regularly hitting the heights of her 2017 Flushing Meadows triumph in recent seasons, the world number 48 would have fancied getting past Swan on Sunday.

The 23-year-old Swan needed a wildcard just to get into qualifying for this event in Germany, and she is due to play doubles alongside Stephens on Monday.

The match began well enough for Stephens, but Swan began to relish the matchup and levelled the contest before dominating the deciding set. Swan let three match points slip by, serving two double faults as the tension got to her, but the win was secured when Stephens drilled a forehand into the net.

Speaking in an on-court interview, Swan said: "It feels great. Sloane is an amazing player. She's a grand slam champion, and you can't get much better than that.

"We're actually playing doubles together tomorrow, so hopefully that'll be fun. I'm so happy to come through that one. It's my first tournament on grass not in England, so it's been fun so far, and it's probably my best result."

Other winners on Sunday in Bad Homburg included Caroline Garcia and Kamilla Rakhimova, who upset eighth seed Liudmila Samsonova.

At the Eastbourne International, where Serena Williams is due to make her tennis comeback by playing doubles in the coming days, first-round winners on Sunday included Marta Kostyuk, Kaia Kanepi and Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Poland's Magdalena Frech enjoyed a 6-3 6-0 stroll against Zheng Qinwen, the 19-year-old Chinese player who beat Simona Halep before causing Iga Swiatek plenty of problems at the recent French Open.

Coco Gauff has finally shed the burden of comparisons to Serena Williams and is enjoying herself at the French Open, where she considers a dual singles-doubles run "light work".

Gauff has long been identified as a future WTA Tour superstar and enjoyed a breakout season in 2019 as a 15-year-old.

The American reached the fourth round at Wimbledon and third round at the US Open, before again advancing to round four at the Australian Open at the start of 2020.

Yet only now, at Roland Garros, has Gauff advanced to a singles grand slam semi-final after beating compatriot Sloane Stephens on Tuesday.

Still just 18, she is the fifth woman this century to reach the last four at the French Open before turning 19.

Crucially, too, Gauff is enjoying herself, having struggled to celebrate wins previously as she believed her early-career hype.

"Even at eight years old, [I was] 'the next Serena', 'next this', 'next that', and I think I really fell into the trap of believing that," the teenager said.

"Yeah, it's important that you have high hopes for yourself, but also, at the same time, it's important to be in reality – and I think that's where I am.

"I'm in reality, where I'm enjoying the moment and enjoying the situation.

"I felt like I was to the point where even when I made the second week or beat Naomi [Osaka] at the Australian Open, I remember like I was happy but I wasn't that happy, because I was like 'I feel like that's what I should do'.

"Now, I'm really appreciating each win and loss."

Indeed, Gauff claims she is no longer "looking at the finish line", even considering her upcoming semi-final against Martina Trevisan "just another match".

And "mentally", Gauff says, she is "in a great place".

"I feel like a lot of my losses in the past were due to mental errors of just getting used to being on tour and getting used to playing these intense matches," she explained, adding that now: "I know if I do lose a match it's not going to be because of that.

"I'm okay if it is because of my game, because that's something that I can work on."

That is the plan heading into the Trevisan match, with her only previous meeting with the Italian a defeat at this event two years ago.

Gauff has already shown how she can adjust following defeats, responding to her first loss to Naomi Osaka at Flushing Meadows in 2019 by beating her at the very next major. Before defeating Stephens this week, Gauff's only previous clash with her was a loss at the 2021 US Open.

"I think it gives me confidence," she said. "Losing to Sloane at US Open and [winning] here, and then losing to Naomi [and then winning], and I lost to Trevisan, so I'm hoping the trend keeps going.

"I think that it helps, because I feel like I know what's going on on the court and I know why I lost the match, and I know what I need to work on for the next time.

"I remember each loss pretty well. I mean, my grandfather always told me: forget your wins; remember your losses. I remember each and every loss.

"So when I play the second time, I try not to lose; at least if I'm going to lose, try not to lose the same way I did the first time."

Even before that match on Thursday, though, Gauff has a doubles quarter-final alongside Jessica Pegula on Wednesday.

"If I felt like I couldn't give 100 per cent in both singles and doubles, then I wouldn't play doubles," Gauff said. "But I feel like I can give 100 per cent all the way to the end.

"The intention for me when I enter the tournament is to try my best to win both. So I know going into that, I'm going to be playing double matches in some days.

"For me, really, I'm used to it; playing juniors, we would play three matches in a day. So this is light work."

Coco Gauff marched into her first grand slam semi-final with a straight-sets defeat of fellow American Sloane Stephens at the French Open.

Teenager Gauff will face the unseeded Martina Trevisan for a place in the final after beating her compatriot 7-5 6-2 at Roland Garros on Tuesday.

The composed 18-year-old has not dropped a set in Paris and produced another assured display on Court Phillipe-Chatrier to break new ground.

Eighth seed Gauff was rewarded for an aggressive display, breaking six times as Stephens paid the price for being too passive in a contest that was over in 90 minutes.

Gauff started with huge confidence, racing into a 3-0 lead courtesy of some heavy hitting while creating great angles.

Stephens clicked into gear with a more aggressive approach, winning three games in a row from 5-2 down as Gauff was unable to serve out the set.

The teenager halted with momentum with a hold and wrapped up the set with a backhand winner after the 2017 US Open champion made a mess of a volley at the net.

Stephens came out firing to break in the first game of the second set, but Gauff hit straight back to get back on serve and led 3-1 after ending another point she dictated with a cross-court backhand winner.

The 64th-ranked Stephens was gifted a chance to get back on serve when Gauff presented her with a simple volley at the net, but she inexplicably drilled it long and the youngster held for a 4-1 lead after saving three break points.

Gauff had won five games in a row and was on the brink of victory when her opponent crashed a forehand into the net, and although she failed to serve out the match in a nervy game, she broke for a fourth time in the second set to seal it.

 

Data slam: Gauff living the teenage dream

Gauff became only the fifth female player to reach the last four at Roland Garros this century before turning 19. On the evidence of this display, she has a great chance of playing in a maiden major final on Saturday.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Gauff– 18/23
Stephens – 16/31

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Gauff – 3/6
Stephens– 0/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Gauff – 6/10
Stephens – 3/9

Top seeds Karolina Pliskova and Angelique Kerber strolled to straight-sets wins in the first round of the Internationaux de Strasbourg, keeping the two former world number ones on course for a final meeting.

Having endured an injury-hit season to date, world number eight Pliskova made the perfect start to her campaign in France with a routine 6-4 6-2 win over Ukrainian 19-year-old Marta Kostyuk. 

Kerber, who is only missing a victory at the French Open – which begins later this month – to complete a Career Grand Slam, overcame teenager Diane Parry 6-3 6-4 in her opener, setting up a round-of-16 clash with world number 45 Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Some of the other big names participating in Strasbourg, however, were not so lucky, with 5th and 6th seeds Shuai Zhang and Sloane Stephens crashing to first-round exits.

Shuai went down 6-2 6-3 to Belgium's Maryna Zanevska and Stephens capitulated to a 2-6 6-4 6-1 loss to Nefisa Berberovic, while Heather Watson set up a last-16 meeting with eighth seed Magda Linette by beating Katharina Hobgarski 6-4 6-1.

Meanwhile, Garbine Muguruza made a winning start to her campaign at the Grand Prix Sar La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Morocco, as the world number 10 builds towards a tilt at French Open glory having triumphed at Roland Garros back in 2016.

Muguruza had few difficulties in beating Anna Danilina 6-3 6-2, and will face Martina Trevisan in the round-of-16 after the Italian beat China's You Xiadoi 6-0 6-4.

Third seed Nuria Parrizas-Diaz had to come through a more difficult challenge in Rabat, overcoming Carol Zhao 7-6 (7-4) 1-6 6-2, while eighth seed Anna Kalinskaya was the highest-ranked player to fall at the first hurdle, going down 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 to Lucia Bronzetti.

Belinda Bencic survived a scare as she advanced to the Charleston Open second round with a 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 win over Wang Xiyu.

The Olympic gold medallist was a semi-finalist in Miami last time out, while she has also reached the quarter-finals in Sydney and St Petersburg this year.

However, the 10th seed was in danger of falling at the first hurdle at 5-2 down in the second set against world number 149 Wang.

Bencic rallied to force a tie-break and, subsequently, a deciding set, which she controlled to set up a second-round clash with 16-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova.

Magda Linette also fought back from the brink of defeat; the world number 64 saving a match point before prevailing against Maria Voleynets 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4).

Although, there was no joy for former champion Sloane Stephens, who was beaten in three sets by Zheng Qinwen.

Stephens – winner here in 2016 – recovered from losing the opening set 6-3 to take the second 6-4. But there was no denying the Chinese teenager, who dropped just nine points as she raced through the decider 6-0 to claim the first top-50 win of her career.

The likes of Jessica Pegula and Madison Keys were due to feature in the evening session, which was postponed due to severe inclement weather including the possible threat of a tornado.

In Bogota, top seed and home favourite Camila Osorio advanced to the last 16, but only after opponent Ylena In-Albon was forced to retire at 2-2 in the deciding set.

Fourth seed Hanna Udvardy and eighth seed Harriet Dart were beaten in straight sets by Dayana Yastremska and Elina Avanesyan respectively.

Naomi Osaka produced a spirited performance as she defeated Sloane Stephens in three sets at Indian Wells on her return to the court.

Osaka was in action for the first time since a shock early exit at the Australian Open in January, but she ultimately had too much for Stephens in a 3-6 6-1 6-2 success.

Stephens initially looked the sharper of the two former major champions in the second-round clash, impressively taking a first-set lead, but Osaka found her groove after a slow start to level the contest.

Osaka then had to save three break points at 2-0 down in the decider, and that appeared to inspire another surge as she rattled off six successive games to roar to an emphatic win.

Shelby Rogers got past Nuria Parrizas-Dias in almost three hours, winning 6-1 5-7 7-6 (7-3), and last week's Monterrey Open runner-up Camila Osorio retired down 6-4 5-0 against Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Yulia Putintseva got past Ashlyn Krueger 6-3 6-2 and Ukraine's Marta Kostyuk won in three hours and nine minutes over Maryna Zanevska 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (8-6) 7-5.

Last month's Abierto Zapopan runner-up Marie Bouzkova eased past China's Wang Qiang 6-3 7-6 (7-5), while American Amanda Anisimova defeated compatriot Emma Navarro 6-2 6-2.

Naomi Osaka has been handed a difficult first round draw against 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens upon her return to the WTA Tour at Indian Wells which starts on Wednesday.

Four-time major winner Osaka has not played competitively since her 2022 Australian Open third-round exit to Amanda Anisimova in January.

The Japanese, whose ranking has dropped to 78th, had been handed a wild card for Indian Wells but was upgraded to the main draw after Camila Giorgi's withdrawal.

The Indian Wells draw was made on Monday with Osaka to face Stephens who won her first WTA title since 2018 with last month's Abierto Zapopan crown.

The top seeds all have been waived through to the second round with top seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Aryna Sabalenka book-ending the draw.

Former US Open winner Sloane Stephens claimed her first WTA title since 2018 after downing Marie Bouzkova in three sets in Sunday's Abierto Zapopan decider in Guadalajara.

American sixth seed Stephens triumphed 7-5 1-6 6-2 in an epic final which lasted two hours and 28 minutes against 96th-ranked Bouzkova.

Stephens, who won the 2017 US Open, has struggled to re-discover her previous levels of success in recent years, having gone undefeated in the first six WTA singles finals of her career and reaching the world number three ranking.

But Sunday's triumph – Stephens' seventh career WTA title - marks a major return to form for the 28-year-old who lost in the first round of last month's Australian Open to Emma Raducanu.

Stephens had trailed 4-1 in the first set but hit back before Bouzkova double faulted on break point at 5-5.

However, the Czech responded in a one-sided second set, breaking Stephens early and never looking back.

The American claimed the first break of the deciding set at 3-2, with Bouzkova letting slip a 40-0 lead, with Stephens' forehand leading her to victory.

American sixth seed Sloane Stephens will face Czech Marie Bouzkova in the WTA Abierto Zapopan final in Guadalajara on Sunday after the pair triumphed in Saturday's semi-finals.

The 2017 US Open champion qualified for her first final since 2018, winning 3-6 7-5 (ret) with Russian opponent Anna Kalinskaya succumbing to injury late in the second set.

Kalinskaya retired shortly after Stephens claimed the second set having battled through back pain for several games, with the match moving close to two hours.

The Russian had shown signs of injury during Friday's quarter-final win over Camila Osorio which she won in straight sets, yet Kalinskaya raced into the lead in the first set against Stephens.

Bouzkova, who knocked out reigning champion Sara Sorribes Tormo in Friday's quarter-finals, triumphed 6-3 6-3 oover Qiang Wang  in one hour and 31 minutes.

The 23-year-old Czech is ranked 96th in the world and has never won a WTA Tour singles title.

Sloane Stephens fought back from a set down to reach her first hard court semi-finals since 2018 as she defeated Daria Saville at the WTA Abierto Zapopan on Friday.

The 2017 US Open champion triumphed in two hours and 29 minutes over the Australian, winning 4-6 6-3 6-2 in Guadalajara.

Stephens, who will play Russian Anna Kalinskaya in the last four, had not reached a hard court semi since the 2018 WTA Finals.

But the American was forced to do it the hard way after losing the first set, saving nine of 13 break points across the match, with her ability to win second serve points proving key.

Colombian fourth seed Camila Osorio was bundled out in 80 minutes by Kalinskaya 6-4 6-1.

There was also a straight-sets win for Marie Bouzkova after she defeated third seed Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-4 6-1.

She will face Wang Qiang in the last eight, who proved too good for Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2 6-3.

Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens progressed into the quarter-finals at the WTA Abierto Zapopan in Guadalajara after a hard-fought win over Chloe Paquet on Thursday.

Stephens won in straight sets but it took almost two hours, triumphing 7-5 6-4 over the Frenchwoman ranked just outside the top 100.

The 28-year-old American was dominant on her first serve, while she broke her opponent five times throughout the match.

Stephens, who is the sixth seed, will play Daria Saville in the last eight after the Australian eased past qualifier Caroline Dolehide 6-1 6-3 in one hour and seven minutes.

Third seed and defending champion Sara Sorribes Tormo made light work of Poland's Magdalena Frech 6-0 6-2 to set up a quarter-final meeting with Marie Bouzkova.

Colombian fourth seed Camila Osorio needed just over two hours to get past Hailey Baptiste 1-6 6-3 6-3, fighting back after a lopsided first set.

Australian Open semi-finalist Madison Keys was bundled out of the Abierto Akron Zapopan in Guadalajara on Monday after a shock three-set loss to Harmony Tan.

Frenchwoman Tan, who is ranked outside the top 100, toppled the second seed in one hour and 46 minutes, winning 6-4 1-6 6-1.

In a seesawing battle, Tan's shotmaking and deft touch was a highlight, helping her steady after emphatically dropping the second set, before winning the first five games of the final set.

The win was Tan's first-ever victory against a top 30 player, qualifying her for the second round where she will play China's Wang Qiang who won 6-2 6-1 over Lauren Davis.

American sixth seed Sloane Stephens did not have such problems in her first-round encounter with qualifier Brenda Fruhvirtova, triumphing 6-2 6-2.

The 14-year-old Czech had enjoyed a good qualifying run but was thwarted by the 2017 US Open champion in 58 minutes.

Fruhvirtova had become the youngest player to compete in a WTA Tour main draw match since Keys in April 2009 at Ponte Vedra Beach.

Fifth seed Nuria Parrizas Diaz bowed out 6-1 6-4 to Slovakia's Ana Karolina Schmiedlova in one hour and 10 minutes. Schmiedlova will face Anastasia Potapova who progressed 6-4 2-2 after Lesia Tsurenko retired.

Japanese seventh seed Misaki Doi also exited, going down 4-6 7-5 6-4 to Marie Bouzkova in the late match, setting up a second-round date with qualifier Lucia Bronzetti who edged American wildcard Caty McNally 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-3.

Zheng Qinwen was another seeded casualty, with the Chinese eighth seed going down 6-3 2-6 6-2 to Anna Kalinskaya.

Emma Raducanu triumphed in a battle of US Open champions as she started her Australian Open campaign with victory over Sloane Stephens.

The 19-year-old stunned the tennis world when she claimed the title at Flushing Meadows last year after progressing all the way through the qualifying rounds and main draw without dropping a set.

The Briton struggled to build on those famous two weeks in New York, losing four of her next six matches including a 0-6 1-6 thrashing by Elena Rybakina at this month's Sydney Tennis Classic.

However, she put that result firmly behind her with an impressive 6-0 2-6 6-1 defeat of Stephens in her first match in the main draw of the Melbourne grand slam.

The first set was in keeping with Raducanu's US Open performance as she clinched it in just 17 minutes while dropping only four points.

But American Stephens, champion in her home slam in 2017, fought back in the second set and set up a decider with a forehand winner.

Yet the 17th seed responded well, marching into a 5-0 lead before serving out the match to set up a second-round clash with Danka Kovinic.

"I think both me and Sloane really put everything out there and gave it everything we had," she said.

"I think it was a really high-quality match, with some very long rallies. I'm very happy to come through against a great champion like her."

 

France's Billie Jean King Cup defence ended at the hands of the Russian Tennis Federation, who will meet the United States in the semi-finals after Wednesday's play in Prague. 

Clara Burel put France on course for the 3-0 victory they needed to advance from Group A with a three-set victory over Ekaterina Alexandrova, but Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova outlasted Alize Cornet in the second rubber to ensure a new champion will be crowned. 

Pavlyuchenkova saved six of 10 break points and racked up an impressive 34 winners en route to a crucial 5-7 6-4 6-2 success against Cornet. 

"I'm so, so happy and so proud of myself because I think it was an incredible match. It was very good tennis but more importantly I think it was an amazing fighting spirit from both of us," said Pavlyuchenkova. 

"We were like two tigers. Nobody wanted to give the other anything and I think that's what matters. That's the sport we're playing." 

Veronika Kudermetova and Liudmila Samsonova comfortably defeated Cornet and Burel in the doubles to consign the reigning champions to a 2-1 defeat. 

The RTF will go up against the USA in the first semi-final, with the Americans comfortably seeing off Spain in the singles rubbers. 

Sloane Stephens bested Nuria Parrizas-Diaz 6-4 6-4 before Danielle Collins swept Sara Sorribes Tormo aside 6-1 6-0 in under an hour. 

Collins won 83 per cent of points behind her first serve and forced Sorribes Tormo into 24 errors during a resounding victory. 

Spain avoided a 3-0 defeat, though, with Aliona Bolsova and Rebeka Masarova beating Caroline Dolehide and CoCo Vandeweghe 6-3 6-4 in the doubles rubber. 

Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens had to come from behind to progress against Heather Watson after almost three hours in the Indian Wells Open first round.

Stephens, who is currently ranked 73rd in the world, having been number three on the WTA Tour in 2018, triumphed 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 6-1 over Watson in two hours, 50 minutes on Wednesday.

In a see-sawing match, there were six breaks in the opening set, as Watson got the edge early on Stephens' serve at the WTA Premier 1000 event.

Stephens steadied by claiming a late break in the second to level the match, before dominating the third set.

Playing at her 10th Indian Wells Open, Stephens won seven consecutive games after the match was 5-5 in the second set.

"After the first set, that was disappointing to lose that one, but I felt like it was a battle and I was still in the match," Stephens said. "I knew I had to keep fighting and that's what I did, and I'm just really pleased to have squeaked out a win here."

 

KEYS ON SONG IN OPENER

Former world number seven Madison Keys moved through to the second round with a 6-0 7-5 win over fast-finishing Estonian veteran Kaia Kanepi.

American Keys won 21 consecutive points as part of a streak where she clinched the first nine games of the match, withstanding Kenapi's late push.

Keys will take on Russian ninth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for a spot in the third round.

 

SAMSONOVA, MARTIC, ROGERS AND PUTINTSEVA PROGRESS

Liudmila Samsonova, who made the fourth round at Wimbledon earlier this year, needed more than two hours to get past Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Kozlova 6-4 7-6 (8-6).

Samsonova will face countrywoman and 25th seed Veronika Kudermetova in the second round.

Petra Martic won through to take on second seed Iga Swiatek with a 6-4 6-4 victory over American wildcard Katie Volynets.

Ash Barty's US Open conqueror Shelby Rogers claimed her 25th win for the year, getting past Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina 7-6 (7-2) 6-2, while Yulia Putintseva won 7-6 (7-2) 6-1 over experienced German Andrea Petkovic to set up a showdown with fellow Kazakh player and 13th seed Elena Rybakina.

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