Posted: Thursday January 16, 2014 6:19 AM

Sloane Stephens survives scare at Australian Open

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Sloane Stephens survived a close call against 67th-ranked Ajla Tomljanovic Thursday, rallying to beat the Croatian 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 at the Australian Open after a lengthy lightning delay.

The 13th-seeded Stephens, who beat Serena Williams on the way to the semifinals last year, came back after dropping the first set to capture seven straight games and take a 3-0 lead in the third set before play was suspended.

When the players returned to the court, Tomljanonvic reeled off five straight games and was serving for the match at 5-4 when she double-faulted to allow Stephens to break back and eventually close out the match.

Stephens arrived in Melbourne with a new coach, Paul Annacone, who had previously worked with Roger Federer.

 
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