Williams Outlasts Stephens Into Last 8 of French Open

Serena Williams rebounded from an opening set loss to beat Sloane Stephens and improve to 51-11 at the French Open.

The top seed smashed 25 winners- seven of which were aces- en route to a 1-6 7-5 6-3 success at the Court Philippe-Chatrier.

The two-time winner hit 15 unforced errors and trailed three breaks to null against her 10-year-younger countrywoman in a 23-minute first set.

She was however on the brink of a second defeat to Stephens, whose only win against the 19-time champion came in the quarter-finals of the 2013 Australian Open, as the world No. 40 immediately broke back in game four of the second set and held serves for a 5-4 lead.

Serena Williams Advances Into French Open Last 8 With Win Over Sloane Stephens. Image: RG via Getty.
Serena Williams Advances Into French Open Last 8 With Win Over Sloane Stephens. Image: RG via Getty.

But serving to stay in the game, Williams broke for a second time in the match in the next two games and the served out the set when Stephens sent a backhand wide to force a decider.

A few Serena loose ground strokes gave Stephens an easy hold in the third set, but it was the 33-year-old who held out for a 4-3 lead, before taking the next three games to close out the match.

Up next for Williams is Italy’s Sara Errani, who saw off Germany’s Julia Gorges 6-2 6-2 in Court 1.

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