Sloane Stephens falls at first hurdle for second week in a row

Sloane Stephens falls at first hurdle for second week in a row

The 2017 US Open champion will lose her status as the No. 1-ranked American come next week after falling to Marie Bouzkova in the second round of the Rogers Cup at Toronto.

For the second week running, Sloane Stephens was tripped up in her opening match by an opponent ranked well outside the Top 50.

On Tuesday in Toronto, the seventh-seeded Stephens was sent packing by 91st-ranked qualifier Marie Bouzkova, who after failing to serve out the match on her first opportunity, stayed the course to advance, 6-2, 7-5. The 21-year-old Czech celebrated her first Top 10 victory and will face either Jelena Ostapenko or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for a spot in the quarterfinals.

For Stephens, she’ll hope to find answers in Cincinnati after failing to defend her Rogers Cup finalist points from a year ago, when the WTA Premier 5 event was held in Montreal. She began her North American hard-court swing last week in Washington D.C. as the top seed, but was ousted by No. 70 Rebecca Peterson, also by a 6-2, 7-5 scoreline. She is still seeking her first title of the season.

With Stephens losing, Serena Williams will overtake the 2017 US Open champion as the top-ranked American in next week’s WTA rankings.