Feeling the momentum early in the second set, she won 11 straight points to earn a 3-0 lead. Just as defeat seemed certain, Stephens clicked into gear, winning five games in a row to find herself serving to level the match, forcing a decider with one last break of serve.
The final set went largely with serve as the two looked for opportunities to break. Again, Tomljanovic broke first and held a point for 5-3 only for the former French Open finalist to turn the tables once more, winning the final three games of the match to reach her first WTA quarterfinal of 2019.
In all, Stephens struck 22 winners to 26 unforced errors, and converted six of 15 break point opportunities; while Tomljanovic struck more winners, she also made more unforced errors – particularly in the final game as she hit three off the forehand to bring up match point – finishing with 30 to 38, respectively.
Up next for the American is a rematch of last spring’s Roland Garros semifinal against Madison Keys, who defeated 2017 Volvo Car Open runner-up Jelena Ostapenko earlier in the day.
More to come…