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TENNIS

Stephens falls in Brussels QFs

Fourth-seeded American Sloane Stephens was a mild quarterfinal upset victim on a rainy Thursday at the $690,000 Brussels Open, a final clay-court French Open tune-up.

Eighth-seeded Chinese Peng Shuai ousted the 20-year-old Stephens 6-2, 6-3 at Royal Primerose Tennis Club. Stephens has struggled since reaching her first-ever Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open in January.

Another quarterfinal result saw Swiss Romina Oprandi outlast Zheng Jie of China 6-3, 3-6, 6-0. Oprandi will face the 2011 Brussels runner-up Peng in a semifinal on Friday.

The second round wrapped up a day late on Thursday, as second-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci held off Kazakhstani qualifier Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 and American Jamie Hampton upended fifth-seeded Belgian favorite Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

Rain has been a nuisance in Brussels this week and a pair of Thursday quarterfinals between Vinci and Hampton and seventh-seeded American Varvara Lepchenko and Estonian Kaia Kanepi had to be postponed until Friday.

The 2013 Brussels titlist will earn $120,000.