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Stephens leads way for USA

USA's Sloane Stephens celebrates after winning her French tennis Open second round match against Slovenia's Polona Hercog during their French tennis Open second round match at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris on May 29, 2014.  AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET

Sloane Stephens (AFP)

Paris – Sloane Stephens has revived hopes of a US winner at the French Open on Thursday as she swept past the challenge of Slovenia’s Polona Hercog, winning 6-1, 6-3 in just 74 minutes.

The win came on the day after title-holder and top seed Serena Williams and her big sister Venus were both dumped out of the tournament in shocking style.

With Alison Riske and Coco Vandeweghe both losing their second round ties on Thursday, Stephens is one of only two Americans left in the tournament.

In the other half of the draw 18-year-old wildcard Taylor Townsend made it through to the third round, on Wednesday by upsetting 20th seeded Frenchwoman Alize Cornet.

Seeded 15th, Stephens was solid on serve apart from a brief blip in the second set when Hercog broke to get to 4-3, and she has yet to drop a set having defeated tough Chinese player Peng Shuai in the first round.

She next plays Ekaterina Makarova of Russia, who defeated Vandeweghe, for a place in the last 16.

Stephens enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2013 highlighted by a semi-final appearance at the Australian Open, a run into the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and fourth round spots at both the French and US Opens.

That left her ranked 12th in the world at the end of the year and set to break into the top 10 this year.

She won through to the fourth round in the Australian Open, but had first round losses at both Dubai and Doha before reaching the quarter-finals at Indian Wells and the third round in Miami.

Results on Thursday at the French Open, the fifth day of the season’s second Grand Slam tournament at Roland Garros (x denotes seeded player):

Men

Second round
Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Dominic Thiem (AUT) 6-2, 6-2, 6-3
Leonardo Mayer (ARG) bt Teimuraz Gabashvili (RUS) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
Jack Sock (USA) bt Steve Johnson (USA) 7-5, 6-4, 6-2
Dusan Lajovic (SRB) bt Jurgen Zopp (EST) 6-2, 6-4, 6-4
Ivo Karlovic (CRO) bt Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT) 7-5, 6-3, 6-4
Kevin Anderson (RSA x19) bt Axel Michon (FRA) 6-2, 6-3, 6-2
Andreas Seppi (ITA x32) bt Juan Monaco (ARG) 6-2, 6-4, 6-4
David Ferrer (ESP x5) bt Simone Bolelli (ITA) 6-2, 6-3, 6-2
Guillermo Garca-Lpez (ESP) bt Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0
Donald Young (USA) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP x26) 6-3, 7-6 (7/1), 6-3
Gael Monfils (FRA x23) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 6-1
Fabio Fognini (ITA x14) bt Thomaz Belluci (BRA) 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7/2)
Richard Gasquet (FRA x12) bt Carlos Berlocq (ARG) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-4
Fernando Verdasco (ESP x24) bt Pablo Cuevas (URU) 4-6, 6-7 (6/8), 7-5, 6-4, 6-3
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER x28) bt Denis Istomin (UZB) 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2
Andy Murray (GBR x7) bt Marinko Matosevic (AUS) 6-3, 6-1, 6-3

Women

Second round
Pauline Parmentier (FRA) bt Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
Paula Ormaechea (ARG) bt Monica Niculescu (ROM) 2-6, 7-5, 6-2
Petra Kvitova (CZE x5) bt Marina Erakovic (NZL) 6-4, 6-4
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x27) bt Camila Giorgi (ITA) 7-6 (7/5), 6-3
Lucie Safarova (CZE x23) bt Casey Dellacqua (AUS) 6-1, 5-7, 6-3
Ana Ivanovic (SRB x11) bt Elina Svitolina (UKR) 7-5, 6-2
Sloane Stephens (USA x15) bt Polona Hercog (SLO) 6-1, 6-3
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS x22) bt Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 6-4, 6-3
Mara Teresa Torr Flor (ESP) bt Magdalna Rybrikov (SVK) 6-2, 2-6, 6-2
Simona Halep (ROM x4) bt Heather Watson (GBR) 6-2, 6-4
Jelena Jankovic (SRB x6) bt Kurumi Nara (JPN) 7-5, 6-0
Sorana Cirstea (ROM x26) bt Teliana Pereira (BRA) 6-2, 7-5
Julia Glushko (ISR) bt Kirsten Flipkens (BEL x21) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
Sara Errani (ITA x10) bt Dinah Pfizenmaier (GER) 6-2, 6-4
Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) bt Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 6-2, 6-4
Kiki Bertens (NED) bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x24) 5-7, 6-4, 3-0- retired (back)
Andrea Petkovic (GER x28) bt Stefanie Vgele (SUI) 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) bt Alison Riske (USA) 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 6-3

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