Sloane Stephens shocks Sharapova in second round of Cincinnati

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Play in the second round of the Western & Southern Open began on Tuesday. The first real shock of the tournament came in the night match between American Sloane Stephens and the 3rd seed, Maria Sharapova. The Russian, who now has Andy Roddick on her team, was playing her first match since losing in the second round of Wimbledon because of a hip injury. Stephens ranking of 17 means she just missed out on being seeded. Sharapova took the first set 6-2 and led 2-0 in the second before Stephens got into gear and Sharapova started a long run of unforced errors. The American took the set to a breaker which she won 7-5 and then closed out the decider 6-3 on her third match point. By the end of the match, Sharapova had made 62 unforced errors to her opponent’s 51 and had 16 winners to Stephens’ 20.

In the first match of the day, 2nd seeded Victoria Azarenka faced off against the 140th ranked American qualifier, Vania King. Azarenka sailed through the first set 6-2 but the American took fire in the second set and, playing very well, took Azarenka, who started making too many errors especially on serve, to a tie break. Azarenka battled all the way before taking the breaker 8-6. Neither player served an ace or a double fault in the first set, but Azarenka had one ace and six doubles to her opponent’s two aces and only one double in the second set.

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