Serena Williams has touted 19 year old Sloane Stephens as a future world number one and her talent was clearly on show on Monday in the Hisense Arena. The American 29th seed took on the other remaining youngster in the draw, Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia, who is ranked at 56. Stephens raced out of the blocks to take the first set easily at 6-1, showing graceful yet powerful tennis with great hands at the net. The second set was much more closely fought, with the Serb finding her range and hitting some great winners from the middle of the set, to take it 7-5. The decider was even closer, with both players giving it their all and raising their games to give the appreciative spectators a real feast. Jovanovski led 2-0 before Stephens broke back and both players held all the way to 5-5, when Stephens got the critical break and was then able to serve out at 7-5 in a match that lasted just short of two hours.
Stephens, who will be playing her first Grand Slam quarter final, will meet Serena Williams, who majestically put paid to any hope of Russian 14th seed Maria Kirilenko progressing further into the tournament. The 3rd seeded American demolished Kirilenko, who has had a good start to the 2013 season, 6-2 6-0 in just fifty seven minutes. The Russian actually played some good tennis at times, but was no match for Williams’ awesome display of power tennis at its best.
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