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Sloane Stephens of the U.S. celebrates winning her their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Slovenia’s Polona Hercog in three sets 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Friday, May 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Sloane Stephens of the U.S. celebrates winning her their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Slovenia’s Polona Hercog in three sets 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Friday, May 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)|Associated Press
Tennis

Sloane Stephens reaches 4th Round at Roland Garros, says engagement to soccer star Jozy Altidore helped her game – plus full Friday results

Associated Press

By ANDREW DAMPF AP Sports Writer

PARIS (AP) — Mulling over what might have been is never a great tactic in tennis.

Just ask Sloane Stephens, who managed to regroup from four wasted match points in the second set of a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 win over 71st-ranked Polona Hercog on Friday to reach the fourth round of the French Open.

"Honestly, I don't even remember what happened. It seems like so long ago. But I know that I didn't win them. That was the main point of that," Stephens said after the draining victory on the hottest day of the tournament so far — with temperatures soaring to nearly 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 Celsius) after the much cooler and rainy opening days.

With second-seeded Karolina Pliskova losing to Petra Martic, No. 7 Stephens is the highest-ranked player remaining in the bottom half of the draw. But her next opponent, 2016 Roland Garros champion Garbiñe Muguruza, is looking more and more dangerous every match.

Stephens, last year's runner-up in Paris and the 2017 U.S. Open champion, quickly stormed to a 4-0 lead in the third against Hercog then held herself together when it got close at the end

"After the second set I just tried to regroup. I got off to a good start and just tried to hang with it," the American said. "When you have match points like that, you have to put it out of your mind, otherwise it just stays with you, lingers, brings you down. It's no fun."

With both players hitting the ball tentatively in the final games, Stephens finally whipped an inside-out forehand winner on her sixth match point, then celebrated with a scream and fist pumps.

Earlier this week, Stephens credited her engagement last month to U.S. national soccer player Jozy Altidore with helping her tennis.

"When your home life is good and your family is good and you're happy, I think that definitely does affect how you play on court," she said.

The other fourth-round matchups set Friday: No. 23 Donna Vekic vs. No. 26 Johanna Konta; Marketa Vondrousova vs. No. 12 Anastasija Sevastova; and Kaia Kanepi vs. Martic.

Muguruza dispatched ninth-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-3.

"She's playing well; I'm playing well. I think it's a good matchup," Stephens said. "You're playing for a spot in the quarters of a Slam. Just got to leave everything out there and see what happens."

And if match points — or any important point for that matter — go wasted, quickly move on.

___

PARIS (AP) — Results Friday from the French Open at Stade Roland Garros (seedings in parentheses):

Men's Singles
Second Round

Martin Klizan, Slovakia, def. Lucas Pouille (22), France, 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-3, 3-6, 9-7.

Men’s Singles
Third Round

Stefanos Tsitsipas (6), Greece, vs. Filip Krajinovic, Serbia, 7-5, 6-3, 5-5, susp.

Stan Wawrinka (24), Switzerland, vs. Grigor Dimitrov, Bulgaria, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), 0-0, susp.

Leonardo Mayer, Argentina, def. Nicolas Mahut, France, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 7-6 (3).

Roger Federer (3), Switzerland, def. Casper Ruud, Norway, 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 (8).

Kei Nishikori (7), Japan, def. Laslo Djere (31), Serbia, 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3, 4-6, 8-6.

Benoit Paire, France, def. Pablo Carreno-Busta, Spain, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (1), ret.

Juan Ignacio Londero, Argentina, def. Corentin Moutet, France, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

Rafael Nadal (2), Spain, def. David Goffin (27), Belgium, 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

Women's Singles
Second Round

Madison Keys (14), United States, def. Priscilla Hon, Australia, 7-5, 5-7, 6-3.

Sofia Kenin, United States, def. Bianca Vanessa Andreescu (22), Canada, , walkover.

Lesia Tsurenko (27), Ukraine, def. Aleksandra Krunic, Serbia, 5-7, 7-5, 11-9.

Women’s Singles
Third Round

Sloane Stephens (7), United States, def. Polona Hercog, Slovenia, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

Garbine Muguruza (19), Spain, def. Elina Svitolina (9), Ukraine, 6-3, 6-3.

Donna Vekic (23), Croatia, def. Belinda Bencic (15), Switzerland, 6-4, 6-1.

Johanna Konta (26), Britain, def. Viktoria Kuzmova, Slovakia, 6-2, 6-1.

Marketa Vondrousova, Czech Republic, def. Carla Suarez-Navarro (28), Spain, 6-4, 6-4.

Anastasija Sevastova (12), Latvia, def. Elise Mertens (20), Belgium, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 11-9.

Kaia Kanepi, Estonia, def. Veronika Kudermetova, Russia, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.

Petra Martic (31), Croatia, def. Karolina Pliskova (2), Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-3.

Men's Doubles
First Round

Leander Paes, India and Benoit Paire, France, def. Martin Klizan, Slovakia and Dominic Inglot, Britain, 6-4, 6-4.

Gregoire Barrere, France and Quentin Halys, France, def. David Vega Hernandez, Spain and Alex de Minaur, Australia, 6-4, 7-6 (7).

Men’s Doubles
Second Round

Fabrice Martin, France and Jeremy Chardy, France, def. Matwe Middelkoop, Netherlands and Tim Puetz, Germany, 7-6 (4), 6-2.

Rajeev Ram, United States and Joe Salisbury (11), Britain, def. Tristan Lamasine, France and Enzo Couacaud, France, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 7-5.

Henri Kontinen, Finland and John Peers (8), Australia, def. Marcelo Demoliner, Brazil and Divij Sharan, India, 6-3, 6-4.

Federico Delbonis, Argentina and Guillermo Duran, Argentina, def. Casper Ruud, Norway and Miomir Kecmanovic, Serbia, 6-0, 1-6, 6-2.

Mikhail Kukushkin, Kazakhstan and Joran Vliegen, Belgium, def. Feliciano Lopez Diaz-Guerra, Spain and Pablo Cuevas, Uruguay, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

Rohan Bopanna, India and Marius Copil, Romania, def. Benjamin Bonzi, France and Antoine Hoang, France, 6-4, 6-4.

Janko Tipsarevic, Serbia and Dusan Lajovic, Serbia, def. Igor Zelenay, Slovakia and Denys Molchanov, Ukraine, 7-5, 7-6 (5).

Oliver Marach, Austria and Mate Pavic (4), Croatia, def. Elliot Benchetrit, France and Geoffrey Blancaneaux, France, 6-4, 7-5.

Horia Tecau, Romania and Jean-Julien Rojer (10), Netherlands, def. Ricardas Berankis, Lithuania and Yoshihito Nishioka, Japan, 6-3, 6-3.

Guido Pella, Argentina and Diego Schwartzman, Argentina, def. Lorenzo Sonego, Italy and Matteo Berrettini, Italy, 6-1, 6-3.

Women's Doubles
Second Round

Abigail Spears, United States and Nadiia Kichenok, Ukraine, def. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, Spain and Sara Sorribes Tormo, Spain, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.

Kirsten Flipkens, Belgium and Johanna Larsson (15), Sweden, def. Vitalia Diatchenko, Russia and Natela Dzalamidze, Russia, 6-2, 6-0.

Andreja Klepac, Slovenia and Lucie Hradecka (10), Czech Republic, def. Andrea Petkovic, Germany and Sofia Kenin, United States, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Kveta Peschke, Czech Republic and Nicole Melichar (7), United States, def. Vera Zvonareva, Russia and Ekaterina Alexandrova, Russia, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

Saisai Zheng, China and Ying-Ying Duan, China, def. Anna-Lena Groenefeld, Germany and Demi Schuurs (9), Netherlands, 6-3, 6-2.

Anett Kontaveit, Estonia and Daria Kasatkina, Russia, def. Latisha Chan, Taiwan and Hao-Ching Chan (8), Taiwan, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Jessica Pegula, United States and Desirae Krawczyk, United States, def. Katarina Srebotnik, Slovenia and Raquel Atawo, United States, 7-5, 6-3.

Barbora Strycova, Czech Republic and Su-Wei Hsieh (3), Taiwan, def. Shelby Rogers, United States and Monica Puig, Puerto Rico, 6-2, 7-5.

Laura Siegemund, Germany and Anna-Lena Friedsam, Germany, def. Xenia Knoll, Switzerland and Amanda Anisimova, United States, 5-0, ret.

Mixed Doubles
First Round

Ivan Dodig, Croatia and Latisha Chan, Taiwan, def. Juan Sebastian Cabal, Colombia and Abigail Spears, United States, 7-6 (5), 6-2.

Aisam Qureshi, Pakistan and Nadiia Kichenok, Ukraine, def. Artem Sitak, New Zealand and Makoto Ninomiya, Japan, 3-6, 6-2, 10-4.

Timea Babos, Hungary and Marton Fucsovics, Hungary, def. Tristan Lamasine, France and Manon Arcangioli, France, 7-6 (5), 6-4.