WASHINGTON – Top seed and former champion Sloane Stephens crashed out of the Citi Open in Washington as she suffered a stunning 6-2 7-5 first-round loss to Swede Rebecca Peterson on Tuesday while teenager Cori 'Coco' Gauff also fell in straight sets.
Stephens, whose best result this year was a run to the Madrid semi-finals in May, was misfiring from the start and never managed to settle into much of a groove in her first meeting with the Swedish world number 70.
Peterson enjoyed a dream start as she raced out to a 5-2 lead and ultimately took the opening set in 29 minutes when Stephens sent a routine backhand from the baseline into the net.
Stephens, who triumphed here in 2015, started to settle down in the second and led 5-4 but Peterson broke back to get back on serve and never looked back.
Up next for Peterson will be the winner of a Tuesday clash between American Sachia Vickery and Italian Camila Giorgi.