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Aus Open: Teen-star Sloane Stephens through to quarters

Melbourne, Australia:  Sloane Stephens advanced to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open with a 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 win Monday over Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia.

The 19-year-old American is into the quarterfinals at a major for the first time.

In the third set featuring five breaks of serve, Stephens broke at love in the 12th game and then held serve in the final game to close out the match in 1 hour, 53 minutes.

The 29th-seeded Stephens could face third-seeded Serena Williams, one of her childhood heroes, in her next match.

Sloane Stephens in action at the Australian Open. AP

The 15-time Grand Slam winner was playing No 14-ranked Maria Kirilenko in a fourth-round match later Monday at Rod Laver Arena.

Two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova has defeated former No 1 Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.

Kuznetsova, winner of the 2004 US Open and 2009 French Open, broke her Danish opponent in the 11th game of the third set and finished the match with a backhand winner down the line.

Kuznetsova saw her streak of 40 straight Grand Slam appearances broken last year when a right knee injury forced her out of the US Open.

Svetlana Kuznetsova after the win. AP

Wozniacki lost her No 1 ranking to Victoria Azarenka last year after falling in the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park to Kim Clijsters.

Defending champion Victoria Azarenka raced to a 3-0 lead in nine minutes and went on to beat Elena Vesnina 6-1, 6-1 in 57 minutes on Monday to advance to the Australian Open quarterfinals.

Azarenka, who will play Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, beat Maria Sharapova in last year's title match at Melbourne Park for her first Grand Slam.

Last year, Azeranka had a 26-match winning streak to start the year, the best since Martina Hingis in 1997.


Published Date: Jan 21, 2013 11:55 AM | Updated Date: Jan 21, 2013 12:51 PM

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