Sloane Stephens, eager to get off to a bad start to the season, posted his biggest win of 2021 on Wednesday, beating eighth seed Madison Keys 6-4, 6-4 in the second round of the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, SC.
Stephens lost in the first round of each of his first four events this year, including the Australian Open, before falling in the second round at the recent Miami Open. On Tuesday, he beat China’s Xinyu Wang in straight sets before winning the match against the United States on Wednesday.
In two other battles against the US, Lauren Davis beat second seed Sofia Kenin 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, and Shelby Rogers overtook 13th seed Amanda Anisimova 1-6, 7-5, 6-4. American Coco Gauff, seeded 14th, came from behind to beat Russian Liudmilla Samsonova 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Top seed Ashleigh Barty of Australia beat Misaki Doi of Japan 6-2, 6-1, and 12th seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia and 15th seed Veronika Kudermetova of Russia also advanced. Fifth seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland and seventh seed Elise Mertens of Belgium were eliminated.
Swiss Stefanie Voegele needed just 85 minutes to beat top seed Saisai Zheng of China 6-4, 6-1 in the second round in Bogota, Colombia.
Voegele converted six of his eight break-point chances while Zheng only managed two breaks in seven chances.
Third seed Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands was also disappointed, losing 7-6 (4), 2-6, 1-6 to Spaniard Nuria Parrizas Diaz. Another Spaniard, Lara Arruabarrena, came from behind to beat sixth seed Jasmine Paolini of Italy 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 and Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova knocked out eighth seed Yafan Wang of China 6-3, 6-3. The other winner of the day was Italian Sara Errani.