Two former US Open champions squared off in the third round of the US Open on Louis Armstrong Stadium on Friday, and it was Angelique who overcame 2017 champion Sloane Stephens in a scintillating battle, 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.
In just under two hours, Angie fought back from a set down to eliminate the American. She also fought back from a dire deficit in their head-to-head: this is only the second time she has defeated Stephens in their seven career meetings.
Reported by WTA Staff
Stat box: Kerber has now won 17 of her last 19 matches as the three-time Grand Slam champion experiences a resurgent summer. She won her first title in three years on home soil in Bad Homburg, then raced to the Wimbledon semifinals before falling to eventual champion Ashleigh Barty.
It was Kerber who took more advantage of opportunities as the match lengthened, finishing up the clash with four breaks of service out of her nine break points. Former World No.3 Stephens could only muster a 2-for-5 rate on her own break points.
In the first set, Stephens played the cleaner match, with an even number of winners to unforced errors (14 apiece) while Kerber’s 18 miscues doubled her winner count during the opening frame. But by the end, it was Kerber who was pristine, with only six unforced errors in the final set compared to Stephens’s 15.
Next up: Another US Open champion might await Kerber in the round of 16: she could face No.3 seed Naomi Osaka, who won in Flushing Meadows in both 2018 and last year. Osaka will first have to get past Leylah Fernandez of Canada in the night match to set that up.