PARIS (AP) — A day before Serena Williams puts her 28-match winning streak on the line at the French Open, the three other U.S. women left in field tried to join her in the quarterfinals.
Sloane Stephens, Jamie Hampton and Bethanie Mattek-Sands all lost in straight sets.
The 17th-seeded Stephens had the toughest task of that American trio on Monday, facing defending champion Maria Sharapova, who took control midway through the first set en route to a 6-4, 6-3 victory.
“There’s a lot of room for a few things to improve, and I think she will. I think she has a big game. She has big strokes; pretty good serve. Maybe not as consistent as she would like at this point, but ... she has a lot of time to develop it,” said Sharapova, who completed a career Grand Slam by winning the 2012 title in Paris.
“This is a really important time in her career,” Sharapova said about the 20-year-old Stephens. “If she’s in the right hands at the right time, I’m sure she’s going to have a great career.”
Next for Sharapova is a match against No. 18 Jelena Jankovic, who needed barely an hour to eliminate the 54th-ranked Hampton 6-0, 6-2.