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Brilliant Stephens stuns Serena

January 23, 2013 08:54:56 UK

Sloane Stephens has become the first American teenager to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for more than a decade by beating Serena Williams at the Australian Open.

Stephens, the only teenager in the top 50, stunned the 15-time Grand Slam champion by hitting back from a set and a break down to progress 3-6 7-5 6-4.

Last night someone asked me, 'Do you think you can win?' I thought about it and I was like, 'Yeah, I think so'.

Sloane Stepens

Williams, who had reached the last four of the US Open in 2001 when still a teenager, had won her last 20 matches, and the last 27 sets she had played, but was ultimately undone by the confident 29th seed Stephens.

Afterwards Stephens, now 15.00 to win the Australian Open, said: "Last night someone asked me, 'Do you think you can win?' I thought about it and I was like, 'Yeah, I think so,' but I wasn't too clear about it.

"This morning when I got up, I was like, 'Dude, like, you can do this. Like go out and play and do your best.' I kind of just played my game from there, I think."

Meanwhile, world number one Victoria Azarenka, 2.10 to retain her Australian Open title, was forced to come from behind to beat a revitalised Svetlana Kuznetsova.

The Belarusian fell 4-1 behind in the first set before eventually claiming a 7-5 6-1 victory, after which she said: "I feel like at the beginning it was a little bit like play around, a lot of back and forth.

"We were both producing good tennis, but I felt like she was a little bit on top of me on the important moments. I didn't really take advantage, and she did. That's why she had the lead at the start.

"But then I turned it around and took control in my hands. That's what I felt was a turning point."

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