By Chris Oddo/ Thursday, October 10, 2013
Sloane Stephens reached the quarterfinals of the Generali Ladies Linz in Austria with a three-set victory over Andrea Petkovic.
Photo Source: AP
Sloane Stephens moved one step closer to reaching her first WTA final with a 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-3 victory over Andrea Petkovic in Linz, Austria.
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Playing at a career-high ranking of No. 12 in the world, Stephens needed three match points to finally put Petkovic away after a see-saw battle that saw them split the first two sets.
Stephens saved six of 10 break points against the former world No. 9 and relied on her patient, passive game, waiting for the 26-year-old to break down. Petkovic, who started the season at 143 in the world, is now ranked 40 after putting together a successful season that has seen her reach finals in Nurnberg and Washington, D.C.
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Stephens jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the final set, but failed to convert on her first match point in the next game, as Petkovic slapped a down-the-line forehand winner to stay alive. Serving for the match at 5-3, Stephens took a 40-15 lead and converted her third match point of the evening after a Petkovic error.
The 20-year-old and second-highest ranked American female will face Switzerland's Stefanie Voegele in the quarterfinals. After dropping six straight matches coming into Linz, Voegele has won back-to-back tour-level matches for the first time since Roland Garros. She lost to Stephens in straight sets in the first round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo two weeks ago.