Halep defeats Stephens, last American left in French Open

Monday, June 02, 2014 /by
AP Photo
AP Photo

PARIS (AP) -- Hardly a good day to be an American in Paris.

The last of the 22 U.S. men and women who were in the French Open singles draws, 15th-seeded Sloane Stephens, lost 6-4, 6-3 Monday to No. 4 Simona Halep of Romania in the fourth round. That came a day after the last American man in singles, No. 10 John Isner, exited before the quarterfinals, too.

There was more Monday, though.

The No. 1-seeded men's doubles team, defending champions Bob and Mike Bryan, lost in the quarterfinals, beaten 6-4, 6-2 by the 12th-seeded duo of Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez of Spain. That left no Americans in men's or women's doubles, either.

And the No. 1-seeded boy in the junior tournament, 16-year-old Francis Tiafoe of College Park, Maryland, lost in the second round to Jan Choinski of Germany 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Stephens has been to the second week at six consecutive Grand Slam tournaments, the longest active streak by a woman. But she has lost in the fourth round of the French Open each of the past three years.

Her match Monday was tied at 4-all in the first set when Halep took control by winning the next four games.

''It's always tough playing someone who is really consistent and has a lot of confidence and just plays a solid game,'' said Stephens, who is based in Florida.

''I didn't execute my game as well as I thought I could,'' Stephens said. ''That's a little bit disappointing, but obviously that happens.''

Stephens was broken in six of the nine games she served and made 35 unforced errors, 10 more than first-time French Open quarterfinalist Halep.

''I dominated the match, I think,'' Halep said. ''I didn't serve very well, but I tried to return better - and I did.''

The Bryan twins have now failed to reach the final at any of the last three Grand Slam tournaments - after winning four major titles in a row before that, starting at the 2012 U.S. Open.

Their bid for the first calendar-year Grand Slam in men's doubles since 1951 ended with a semifinal loss at last year's U.S. Open. The Bryans then lost in the third round at the Australian Open in January.

The brothers own a record 15 major doubles championships, including at Roland Garros in 2003 and 2013.

''Obviously, we're disappointed,'' Mike said. ''We thought we could have played a little better.''

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