Singapore, Oct 22 (IANS) Fifth-seeded Sloane Stephens of the United States won 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 over fourth-seeded Naomi Osaka of Japan on Monday in the Red Group of the WTA Finals, the eight-player, season-ending event held in Singapore.
Both players fought to their limit in their WTA-Finals debut; however, Stephens, 25 years old, was the winner after two hours and 24 minutes, claiming her second win over Osaka, the 2018 US Open champion, in as many career duels, reports Efe.
Although the crowd was overwhelmingly cheering for the Japanese player, Stephens, who was the 2018 Miami Open champion, broke Osaka’s serve seven times out of 19 break points.
“I had to play at my best level to be able to beat her, and especially (I had to) take advantage of my opportunities,” Stephens said.
In other Red Group action, No. 1 seed Angelique Kerber of Germany was facing off the Netherlands’ Kiki Bertens, No. 8 seed.