Ana Ivanovic defeated American teenager Sloane Stephens in round three of the U.S. Open on Saturday, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2. The former French Open champion needed two hours and 21 minutes to advance to the round of 16 where will next play the unseeded Tsvetana Pironkova from Bulgaria for a place in the quarterfinals. Pironkova was a 6-1, 6-7, 6-3 winner over Spain's Silvia Soler-Espinosa.
"She played some great tennis. She stepped up her game," said Stephens. "She competed really well. I mean, like I said, it didn't happen for me tonight. But I gave it all that I had."
Ivanovic blasted 37 winners, including 22 off her forehand, to turn the match around after a fast start from the 19-year-old Stephens. Pironkova reached the semifinals of Wimbledon in 2010 and the quarterfinals in 2011. Ivanovic is looking to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal since winning the 2008 French Open.
"I felt there was a lot of moments where I actually built the point nicely, then I missed on sort of finishing
shots," said Ivanovic. "Still, I tried to be aggressive and put a lot of pressure on her. I tried to kind of open up the court a little bit, but she was very solid off both sides."