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Sloane Stephens of the U.S. reacts during her second round match against Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014.
MELBOURNE, Australia—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.