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Sloane Stephens wins opener in Cincinnati

APTOPIX France Tennis French Open

Sloane Stephens of the U.S. clenches her fist after winning a point as she plays Italy’s Camila Giorgi during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Saturday, June 2, 2018 in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

AP

MASON, Ohio -- Defending U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens overcame a thumb injury to cruise into the third round of the Western & Southern Open with a 6-3, 6-2 win over qualifier Tatjana Maria on Wednesday.

A trainer applied a bandage to the third-seeded Stephens’ right thumb between the third and fourth games of the second set of this U.S. Open tuneup. The match was Stephens’ first since losing on Sunday to Simona Halep in the finals at Montreal.

Sloane’s semifinal appearance last season is her best Cincinnati finish in six previous appearances.