Defending champion Sloane Stephens reached the fourth round of the US Open by defeating two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka on Friday in New York City.
The third-seeded American needed one hour and 45 minutes to see off Azarenka of Belorussian 6-3 6-4 to set up a meeting with 15th seed Elise Mertens of Belgium next.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 31, 2018
This was the sixth career-match between Stephens and Azarenka, with the American now winning all three of the 2018 meetings to level the head-to-head at 3-3.
The match, played in the Arthur Ashe Stadium, was an aggressive affair which Stephens won thanks 20 winners and fewer mistakes, while Azarenka had 21 winners overall.
After her victory Stephens was very happy, saying: “I just hung in there,” Stephens said. “I was just battling as hard as I could.”
Stephens is now the highest-seeded player left in the women’s draw, after early exits by No.1 Simona Halep and No.2 Caroline Wozniacki.
Completed women’s singles results on Friday:
19-Anastasija Sevastova (Latvia) bt Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) 4-6 6-2 6-1
15-Elise Mertens (Bel) bt 23-Barbora Strýcova (Cze) 6-3 7-6(4)
7-Elina Svitolina (Ukr) bt Wang Qiang (Chi) 6-4 6-4