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Stephens powers past Kasatkina to unlock all-American semi-final

Stephens powers past Kasatkina to unlock all-American semi-final
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By Martyn Herman

PARIS (Reuters) – Sloane Stephens set up a French Open semi-final showdown against fellow-American Madison Keys after comfortably overcoming wily Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-3 6-1 on Tuesday.

The 10th seed, who beat Keys to win the U.S. Open last year, showed impressive patience in some cat-and-mouse exchanges and eventually overpowered the 21-year-old with her bigger game.

Stephens needed 42 minutes to win a first set full of long baseline rallies, but was unstoppable in the second set as Kasatkina’s game began to crack.

“This is really exciting for American tennis and I’m really excited to play my really good friend,” she said on court.

The 25-year-old had never got beyond the last 16 of the French Open until this year.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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