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By Chris Oddo | Sunday March 11, 2018

Sloane Stephens

Sloane Stephens notched a big win over Victoria Azarenka to book her spot in the third round on Sunday at Indian Wells.

Photo Source: Jeff Gross/Getty

Sloane Stephens’ first match in the U.S. since becoming a U.S. Open champion was a successful one. The American defeated Victoria Azarenka for the first time in four career matches, 6-1, 7-5, to book her spot in the third round.

It was the first time that Stephens and Azarenka met outside the Australian open, where they met each year from 2013 to 2015.

“Playing in the U.S., at an amazing tournament like this, to get a win like that is pretty—it feels pretty good,” Stephens said after the match.

On court after the match, Stephens had a different assessment. When asked how she was able to finally win against the Belarusian she replied “I think it’s because she just had a baby.”

It hasn’t been easy for Stephens to adjust after becoming a Grand Slam champion, but after losing eight straight matches Stephens has now won four of five, and will face 20th-seeded Daria Kasatkina next.

“After Australia I was able to take some time, and I'm feeling a lot better, playing better,” she said. “I got some matches in Acapulco last week. And to get a win here, it's not easy having a bye and then playing somebody who has already played a match. Feeling good. Everything's all good.”


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