Grand slam champs in 'unfathomable' match point drama: 'Hard to watch'

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Sloane Stephens shakes hands with Sofia Kenin (pictured left) and (pictured right) Kenin after winning the second set at the Canadian Open.
Sloane Stephens defeated Sofia Kenin (pictured right) after four hours in a thriller at the Canadian Open, in Toronto, which saw Kenin save six match points. (Images: Twitter)

Commentators and fans were left stunned after former US Open winner Sloane Stephens won a remarkable topsy-turvy battle against compatriot Sofia Kenin in a wild match played in Toronto.

Stephens was on her way to snapping a three-match losing streak when she raced to a 6-2, 5-1 lead against Kenin at the Canadian Open.

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However, in remarkable circumstances, Kenin saved six match points in windy conditions and was able to take the second set 7-5 after Stephens was broken three times while serving for the win.

Adding to the drama, Stephens and Kenin were forced to leave court after rain swept across Toronto.

The pair returned but both struggled in tough conditions.

Stephens was able to close out a rollercoaster match, more than three hours after her first match point, to win 6-2, 5-7, 7-5.

"Wow, what a match. What a contest that was," the commentator said.

"It might have been over in straight sets, she had those opportunities...but in the end, she gets the job done.

"It was a thriller."

Fans watching the match couldn't quite believe what they had witnessed throughout the rollercoaster contest.

Tennis fans were quick to point out both players appeared low on confidence, which only added to the drama.

Sloane Stephens' poor run of form in 2022

The 2017 US Open winner has struggled since the beginning of the grass court season having lost three matches in a row before Toronto.

Stephens was knocked out in the first round of the Bad Homburg Open, Wimbledon and the Citi Open before her latest victory.

Kenin, 23, started her career brilliantly having won the Australian Open in 2020.

However, she has now slipped to World No.416 and missed both the French Open and Wimbledon this year.

TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 08: Sloane Stephens of the United States celebrates winning a point against Sofia Kenin of the United States during her first round match on Day 3 of the National Bank Open, part of the Hologic WTA Tour, at Sobeys Stadium on August 08, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 08: Sloane Stephens of the United States celebrates winning a point against Sofia Kenin of the United States during her first round match on Day 3 of the National Bank Open, part of the Hologic WTA Tour, at Sobeys Stadium on August 08, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

Elsewhere in Toronto, Serena Williams won her first match in 430 days on Monday, beating Nuria Parrizas Diaz 6-3, 6-4 at the hard-court event.

The 40-year-old then surprised reporters in her press conference after the drought-breaking win, when asked what keeps her motivated to keep playing into her 40s.

"I guess there’s just a light at the end of the tunnel," she said.

“I don’t know, I’m getting closer to the light, so… lately that's been it for me. I can’t wait to get to that light."

When asked what "the light" means to her, she responded "freedom".

"I love playing though, so it’s like, amazing," she added.

"But, you know, I can’t do this forever.

"Sometimes you just want to try your best to enjoy the moments, and do the best that you can."

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