NEW YORK (AP) Sloane Stephens reached the fourth round at the U.S. Open for the first time, and a matchup against defending champion Serena Williams could be next.
The 15th-seeded Stephens beat 23rd-seeded Jamie Hampton 6-1, 6-3 Friday in the first match at Arthur Ashe Stadium between two American women younger than 24 since the Williams sisters met in the 2002 final.
Stephens has reached at least the fourth round at all four Grand Slam tournaments this season, including a semifinal run at the Australian Open in January, when she upset Serena Williams in the quarterfinals. That's one of only four losses for the top-ranked Williams in 2013.
Stephens lost in the third round at Flushing Meadows each of the last two years, beaten by 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic both times.