US Open champion Sloane Stephens brushed aside Russian Daria Kasatkina in the French Open quarter-finals on Tuesday to set up a repeat of last year’s Flushing Meadows final with fellow American and good friend Madison Keys.
The 10th seed produced a clinical performance to down Kasatkina, the conqueror of world number two Caroline Wozniacki, 6-3, 6-1 on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Earlier in the day Keys, the 13th seed, reached the semi-finals for the first time by seeing off Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva 7-6 (7/5), 6-4.
“I’m excited to play my good friend in the semi-finals, we’ve already played in the US Open final and it’s really good for American tennis,” said Stephens.
The 25-year-old, who was ranked 957 just six weeks before her maiden Grand Slam triumph last year after a series of injury problems, is now into the semi-finals of a major for the third time.
The two players traded breaks early in the match, before Stephens produced some ferocious hitting at the end of a marathon eighth game to give herself the chance to serve for the opening set.
She did just that, with the help of a sumptuous backhand drop shot.
The 14th-seeded Kasatkina kicked off the second set with a solid hold of serve, but Stephens broke in the third game with a venomous cross-court forehand and eased to victory after just an hour and 10 minutes of play.
In the other half of the draw, two-time champion Maria Sharapova will meet 2016 winner Garbine Muguruza on Wednesday, while world number one Simona Halep takes on double Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber.
With inputs from AFP
Respond to this article with a post
Share your perspective on this article with a post on ScrollStack, and send it to your followers.