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.
Incredible scenes in Toronto, as Kenin takes the 2nd set vs. Stephens, 7-6(5).
6-2, 5-1 with MPs
6-2, 5-2 with MPs
My god. pic.twitter.com/oLeoNe7IyC
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) August 8, 2022
Sloane Stephens, who had match points at 5-1 and 5-2 in the 2nd set, finishes the match 4 hours later than expected, beating Sofia Kenin in a battle of Slam champs 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5 to reach the R2 in Toronto. Stephens was broken 3 times when serving for the match.
Sakkari next. pic.twitter.com/ngmTq57Utz
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) August 9, 2022
That was a lot.
But, Sloane Stephens finds her way through in Toronto, outlasting Sofia Kenin and numerous weather delays for the 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5 win.
Stephens, who at one point let 6-2, 5-1, will shake it off and head to round 2 to face 3rd seed Maria Sakkari. pic.twitter.com/Rr6lX2SBCm
— Tick Tock Tennis (@TickTockTennis) August 9, 2022
Sloane Stephens vs Sofia Kenin: excruciating, unfathomable and incredibly gripping all at the same time
— Will (@WillBeckman_) August 9, 2022
Sloane Stephens wins a highly entertaining game over Sofia Kenin. Players seemed to battle against the wind as much as their opponents in the last set, particularly effecting their serve. #NBO22 pic.twitter.com/zc1SicRAJL
— Çetin Cem Yılmaz (@cetincem) August 9, 2022
This Kenin v Stephens match is extraordinary. I’m hooked, entertained and confused in equal measure #NBO22
— Paul 🎾 (@GameSetPaulWTA) August 9, 2022
From 2-6, 1-5 MP down…
Sofia Kenin just won the second set 7-6(5) against Sloane Stephens.
Played some amazing tennis out there. Impressed 😳
But oh boy this is hard to watch for Sloane…
— Yoann (@sweetbackhand) August 8, 2022
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.
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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