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U.S. Open: Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens, CoCo Vandeweghe advance

Venus Williams looks to return a shot to

Venus Williams looks to return a shot to Oceane Dodin during her women's singles second round match on day three of the U.S. Open tennis tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Venus Williams advanced another round in the U.S. Open on Wednesday night as sister Serena advanced another day in her pregnancy.

With a touch more trouble than she would have preferred, Venus eliminated France’s Oceane Dodin 7-5, 6-4 in a second-round match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Williams has another chance for a strong Grand Slam run here. She reached the final at Australia, beaten by Serena, and the Wimbledon final, beaten by Garbine Muguruza.

“When you come to the tournament, nobody plans on when they’re losing,” said the 37-year-old. “Let’s put it that way. My goal’s to win every match. That’s all I can do.”

Sloane Stephens had been out nearly 11 months with foot surgery when she returned to Wimbledon in July. Wednesday night she reached the third round with an impressive 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 win over 11th seed Dominika Cibulkova on a packed Court 10. This is only Stephens’ fifth tournament of the year, but she reached the semifinals of Toronto and Cincinnati, hardcourt tuneup events for the Open.

American CoCo Vandeweghe got by good friend Alison Riske 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a first-round match that had been postponed by rain.

Vandeweghe, 25, has been considered an up-and-comer for a while, but the results haven’t gone her way at the Open, her home Slam. Tough draws started for her in her first Open in 2008 when she was 16.

“I have had good matches here at the U.S. Open, but I’ve had some not-so-good ones, being thrown to the wolves a little bit with the draw gods,” Vandeweghe said.. “First time out here on Ashe, night match, No. 1 seed [Jelena Jankovic], against a 16-year-old me. I was totally thrown to the wolves in that moment.”

She also lost to Serena Williams on Ashe in the first round in 2012. She’ll make another appearance on the Open’s biggest stage tonight where as the 20th seed she’ll take on a slightly less daunting Ons Jabeur of Tunisia. Vandeweghe has never been past the second round here.

Wozniacki upset

Fifth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki was beaten by unseeded Exaterina Makarova of Russia in the second round, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-1. Wozniacki, who never has won a major, was twice a runner-up at the U.S. Open and reached the semifinals last year.

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