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05 June 2018, 08:25 | Pamela Mathis
American pals Stephens, Keys both reach 1st French Open QF
She has not dropped a set yet and will face U.S. Open runner-up Madison Keys in the fourth round.
The French Open fourth-round match between No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki and No. 14 Daria Kasatkina has been suspended for the day in the second set because of darkness.
Keys compiled a 30-8 edge in winners and started quickly, going up by a set and a break at 3-1 in the second. Kasatkina took the opening set 7-6 (5), and they were tied at 3-all in the second when play was halted until Monday.
American Stephens will face the victor of second seed Caroline Wozniacki's fourth-round match against Russia's Daria Kasatkina, which takes place later on Sunday.
Appropriately enough, Keys' full house of last-eight finishes caps 12 months in which her effectiveness at Slams has been markedly superior to her form outside them: the Australian Open quarterfinalist is now 15-3 in majors since the 2017 French Open, but just 10-9 in Tour events. In the tiebreaker, Osaka went ahead 4-1, and held set points at 6-5 and 7-6.
Novak Djokovic equaled Roger Federer's mark of reaching nine consecutive quarterfinals at Roland Garros by beating No. 30 seed Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
Stephens also reached the French Open quarterfinals for the the first time, having stalled in the fourth round on four previous occasions.
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His will next play either seventh-seeded Dominic Thiem a semifinalist at Roland Garros the past two years or unseeded Italian Matteo Berrettini. "Hopefully big things can happen here".
She sealed the win with an ace on her third match point. Both times, he proved steadier and sturdier than Damir Dzumhur, a Bosnian ranked 29th and seeded 26th, and Zverev eventually prevailed 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-5 in 3 hours, 54 minutes.
Osaka broke back but the mini-revival seemed to have petered out when another double fault allowed Keys to serve for the match at 5-4, only for Keys to tighten up and drop serve. Now she is thinking big.
"It's awesome. This was always kind of the one where it was the most hard for me, and it was always the toughest one to feel like I could play well here".
The 23-year-old Keys will now be eyeing a semi-final spot, with Czech 26th seed Strycova or Putintseva waiting in the quarter-finals.
Keys is one of three Americans to reach the third round with Sloane Stephens, who beat her in the Flushing Meadows final past year, and three-times champion Serena Williams also in the hunt. Her surge has seen her rise almost 350 spots in the rankings over the past year.
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