Sloane Stephens advances to Wimbledon's fourth round for first time
LONDON (AP) -- The bigger the tournament, the better for American Sloane Stephens.
The 17th-seeded American advanced to Wimbledon's fourth round for the first time Saturday, rallying for a 7-6 (3), 0-6, 6-4 victory over 196th-ranked qualifier Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic.
Stephens has now advanced to the second week of all three of the year's Grand Slams.
At the Australian Open in January, Stephens secured her first Grand Slam semifinal berth, upsetting none other than Serena Williams to get there. At the recent French Open, Stephens made it to the fourth round before falling to Maria Sharapova.
"It's been good," Stephens said. "I played the slams well. I'm excited to be in the second week again."
While she won, two other Americans lost: Allison Riske fell to Kaia Kanepi 6-2, 6-3 and Madison Keys fell 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 to fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska.
For Keys, the 18-year-old from Rock Island, Ill., it was a much better showing than the last time she faced Radwanska, a 6-1, 6-1 shellacking at Miami in 2012 that Radwanska didn't even recall when asked about it earlier in the week.
"Felt pretty good," Keys said. " Just really wanted to do better than last time and wanted to be happy when I came off the court."
Stephens' third round win turned out to be a two-day affair.
The match started on Friday night, but was suspended at one set apiece because of darkness. But Stephens had to plead with the umpire for the match to be postponed.
At 3-0 in the second set, Stephens told umpire Kelly Thomson she was having trouble seeing. Thomson responded that they still had sufficient light to keep playing for 45 minutes. Once Stephens lost the second set at love, she told Cetkovska she couldn't see and they agreed to stop playing.
The match resumed at the start of the third set, and Stephens came out slowly, falling behind 2-0. In all, Stephens lost eight games in a row before breaking serve in the third game of the third set.
"It's always tough coming back the next day to finish the match," Stephens said. "I just felt weird. I'm only playing one set. This is like a practice set. It was a little tricky."
Stephens moves on to play 19-year-old Monica Puig of Puerto Rico, with whom she's familiar from when they both trained as pre-teens with coach Nick Saviano in South Florida. This will be their first match against each other as pros.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.