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Sloane Stephens’ love affair with Mexico continues as she reaches quarters at Merida Open

The former US Open champion will face Italian Camila Giorgi for a place in the semi-finals

Sloane Stephens at the 2022 WTA Guadalajara Open Sloane Stephens at the 2022 WTA Guadalajara Open Image Credit: AI/Reuters/Panoramic
Mérida Open Akron •Round of 16 • completed
See draw

There’s something about Mexico that brings out the best in Sloane Stephens, In 2022, the former US Open champion reached the quarter-finals or better at three events – two of them coming in Mexico. She won the WTA 250 event in Guadalajara in February and reached the quarters of the WTA 1000 event in the same city in October.

Back in Mexico in 2023 for the Merida Open this week, Stephens seems to have found her winning touch once again. After starting the season with three consecutive losses, the 29-year-old is now through to the quarter-finals of the WTA 250 event in Merida.

On Thursday, Stephens, seeded No 2 this week, came from behind to defeat Russian lucky loser Varvara Gracheva 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (5) and reach the last eight. The American had won against French qualifier Leolia Jeanjean (6-1, 6-3) in the previous round.

The world No 41 will next meet Camila Giorgi for a place in the semi-finals. The Italian holds a 3-2 edge over Stephens but Friday will mark their first meeting since 2019.

Mérida WTA 250, second-round results (Yucatan Country Club, hard, USD 259,303, most recent results first):

  • Magda Linette (1) beat Panna Udvardy: 6-0, 2-5 ret.
  • Rebecca Peterson (Q) beat Alycia Parks (5): 6-4, 6-2
  • Elisabetta Cocciaretto (7) beat Xinyu Wang: 6-4, 6-2
  • Camila Giorgi beat Nuria Parrizas Diaz: 7-6 (5), 6-2
  • Catherine McNally beat Katie Volynets (WC): 6-3, 6-0
  • Kimberly Birrell (Q) beat Xiyu Wang: 6-3, 6-2
  • Ysaline Bonaventure vs. Katerina Siniakova

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