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Sloane Stephens moves on in Volvo Car Open

Miami Open 2019 - Day 7

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - MARCH 24: Sloane Stephens returns a shot to Tatjana Maria of Germany during the Miami Open Presented by Itau at Hard Rock Stadium March 24, 2019 in Miami Gardens, Florida.(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

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CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Top-seeded American Sloane Stephens outlasted Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) to advance Tuesday at the WTA’s Volvo Car Open.

Stephens, the 2017 U.S. Open champion, needed almost 2 hours, 40 minutes to put away Tormo in the season’s first clay-court tournament. The 2016 Volvo Car Open champion was not crisp during several stretches. She fell behind Sorribes Tormo 5-2 in the first set before rallying. Stephens also squandered two match points at 5-4 in the second set before winning the tiebreaker.

The start of play was delayed three hours because of rain.

Other seeded players advancing were No. 12 Mahaela Buzarnescu of Romania, No. 15 Maria Sakkari of Greece and No. 16 Petra Martic of Croatia.