Young American sensation Sloane Stephens is finding the road difficult now that she’s in the public eye. The Floridian burst onto the world stage in January with a stunning win over a hobbled Serena Williams to reach the Australian Open semifinals. But since that win Stephens has struggled and then on Tuesday at Charleston the 20-year-old lost 62, 60 to the veteran Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
“Yeah, it’s definitely been tough,” Stephens said Tuesday night. “The last three months has definitely been super overwhelming and definitely really really tough, but I think once I kind of like find my rhythm and find like what I want, like how I have to handle certain situations, then things that I have to do, like before trying to really get focused and things are just too overwhelming and I can’t do, I kind of just have to refocus and, you know, try and do my best.”
Since beating Serena, Stephens is just 2-6 and she’s only won four games in her last four sets including that loss to Mattek-Sands.
“I really love clay, so to get out and not be able to play so well is definitely disappointing,” she said. “But what can you do? Sometimes you are
just going to not play so well and she played a good match. So I mean nothing really I could do.”
Sloane will be part of the Fed Cup in Delray Beach, FL later this month then she heads to Europe for the red clay in Madrid.
In addition to the public pressure, she’ll also have to start dealing with point pressure. The 16th-ranked Stephens will have a semifinal points in Strasbourg and a fourth round at the French Open to defend.
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