By Richard Kent, Staff Reporter
NEW YORK — It was a heavyweight fight in the first round of the US Open.
In a match that was contested in sweltering heat in Arthur Ashe Stadium, Sloane Stephens defeated her good friend and fellow American Madison Keys, 6-3,1-6, 7-6.
The pair have been known to be practice partners at tournaments all over the world.
And, they’ve known and competed against each other in the juniors since they were 12 years old.
The match was much closer than their last meeting in the finals of the 2017 Open when Stephens won her one and only major by defeating Keys, 6-3,6-0.
Neither player is seeded in this Open.
Keys had 36 winners to only 12 by the winner, but Keys was an unforced error machine, especially in the third and deciding set.
Stephens now holds a 5-3 career advantage over Keys.