Photo: Paul ZimmerSloane Stephens (USA)
19-year old Sloane Stephens won the battle of the last two American women left in the Australian Open main draw with a surprise three set defeat of highly fancied Serena Williams.
Williams, the 5-time Australian Open champion, had only conceded eight games in eight sets coming into this match and looked on course for another victory after taking the opening set 63 but Stephens, whose only professional title to date came on the ITF Pro Circuit at Reggio Emilia in 2011, fought back to defeat her idol 36 75 64 and seal a place in a first Grand Slam semifinal.
All four women’s singles semifinalists have a history on the ITF Pro Circuit with all having won singles titles on the Circuit early in their careers, the most successful by far being Na Li who collected a staggering 19 titles between 1999 and 2004.
ITF Pro Circuit Singles Title Count