Tennis: Stephens downs Muguruza to reach French Open last eight

Sloane Stephens plays Garbine Muguruza during their women’s round of 16 match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, on June 2, 2019.
Sloane Stephens plays Garbine Muguruza during their women’s round of 16 match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, on June 2, 2019.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PARIS (REUTERS) - Last year's runner-up Sloane Stephens downed former champion Garbine Muguruza 6-4 6-3 to book her place in the quarter-finals of the French Open on Sunday (June 2).

Seventh seed Stephens struggled with her serve but she was more consistent on Court Philippe Chatrier and set up a meeting with Britain's Johanna Konta in the last eight.

The 2017 US Open winner is now the clear favourite in her half of the draw after the exits of world number two Karolina Pliskova and one of the pre-tournament favourites Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.

Stephens shook off a wobbly start by breaking back for 3-3 and she broke 2016 champion Muguruza's serve again to move 5-3 up.

The American's serve was still far from perfect, however, and she surrendered the extra break right away.

She bagged the the opening set, however, on her opponent's equally inconsistent serve.

Another break in the second set allowed her to serve for the match and she wrapped it up on her fifth match point when 19th seed Muguruza returned a second serve poorly.