Querrey survives challenge from Nieminen

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Sam Querrey wants to get in as many matches as he can to prepare for next week's U.S. Open.

Yet Querrey nearly saw his preparations come to an early end Wednesday, struggling early before edging Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 4-6, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (12) to advance to the Winston-Salem Open quarterfinals.

"It's kind of the last hurrah here and next week to put together some results," Querrey said. "I've played two good matches, and hopefully I've got a chance to play another one (today). Every match is big for me right now. I'll take every one of them I can get."

In the night match at the Wake Forest Tennis Center, France's Gael Monfils took advantage of two key service breaks in the third set to beat 22nd-ranked Tommy Robredo of Spain 7-6 (7), 4-6, 6-2.

Monfils, who was ranked seventh in the world in 2011, broke serve in the third and seventh games of the final set to get a measure of revenge over Robredo, who rallied from a two-set deficit to beat Monfils at the French Open nearly three months ago.

"I started to feel better with the ball," said Monfils, who will face Spain's Fernando Verdasco, a 6-4, 6-7 (10), 6-3 winner over Robin Haase of the Netherlands. "When I broke him, I had to take a bit more time and focus more on my first serve. He started to play more defensive and make me run, but I knew I could win this one."

Querrey had 19 aces, but lost the first set to the left-handed Nieminen after leading 4-1. Querrey then had to overcome five match points in the third-set tiebreaker to advance to his fourth tournament quarterfinals this season.

The 29th-ranked Querrey will face unseeded Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut.

New Haven Open

At New Haven, Conn., Sloane Stephens moved into the quarterfinals of the New Haven Open with a 7-5, 2-6, 6-1 victory over Germany's Julia Georges.

After being dominated in the second set, Stephens won the next four games and cruised to the win.

She is one of just three seeded players to advance past the second round. The others are defending champion Petra Kvidova, who beat American qualifier Alison Riske 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-3; and four-time champion Caroline Wozniacki, who turned back Italy's Karin Knapp 6-1, 7-5.

Top-seeded Sara Errani fell to Russia's Ekaterina Makarova 7-5, 6-1, becoming the fifth of the tournament's eight seeds to lose in the final WTA tuneup before next week's U.S. Open.

Stephens and Wozniacki, who has won the event four of the last five years, will meet in the marquee matchup of the quarterfinals today.

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