Paris: American Sloane Stephens broke new ground at the French Open with a 6-2, 6-0 thrashing of below-par Estonian Anett Kontaveit in the last-16 on Sunday.
Five times the US Open champion had fallen at the fourth-round hurdle in Paris but that never looked like being her fate as she produced a rock-solid display on Court Philippe Chatrier.
The initial exchanges offered no clue as to what was to follow as the first four games were shared but when Kontaveit double-faulted to drop serve Stephens took control.
Kontaveit could not stem the errors and Stephens, who survived a thriller against Camila Giorgi the previous day, cruised to victory in 52 minutes.
She is the second American into the quarter-finals in the top half of the draw after Madison Keys, whom she beat in last year’s US Open final, eased past Mihaela Buzarnescu to register her best run at Roland Garros.
Serena Williams can make it three Americans in the last eight if she beats Maria Sharapova on Monday.
Kazakh youngster Yulia Putintseva continued her impressive run at the French Open as she beat 26th seed Czech Barbora Strycova 6-4, 6-3 in the fourth round on Sunday.
World number 98 Putintseva showed off her wide range of shot-making skills to break Strycova twice in the early exchanges before serving out the opening set in 52 minutes.
Strycova, who was making her first fourth-round appearance in Paris, struggled to find her rhythm and continued to spray the court with unforced errors as Putintseva raced to a 4-1 lead in the second set.
The 23-year-old dropped her serve in the next game but did enough to see off a late challenge from Strycova and wrap up the victory on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.
Putintseva, who also defeated British number one Johanna Konta in the opening round, has matched her best performance at Roland Garros by reaching the quarter-finals for the first time since 2016.
“Today I was very tough mentally,” she said after the match.
“It was a fourth-round match and everyone is play good now. You just have to fight for every point.”
Up next for Putintseva is 13th seed Keys, who is yet to drop a single set over four matches in the tournament.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Jun 03, 2018 22:00:29 IST