Sloane Stephens: The Last 3 Months Have Been Super Overwhelming And Really, Really Tough
by Tom Gainey | April 4th, 2013, 11:37 am

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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7 Comments for Sloane Stephens: The Last 3 Months Have Been Super Overwhelming And Really, Really Tough

zola Says:

Sloan has everything going for her. She will be back in her winning form very soon.

alison Says:

Shes still very young and is developing herself as a player,she will have highs and lows which is only to be expected,im sure she has a very bright future ahead of her,she neecs to just be patient and not be so hard on herself.

alison Says:

^Needs not Neecs^.

budum Says:

Whats up with women slumping all the time when they encounter a bit of success in tennis?

SG1 Says:

budum…good question about the slumping after a good start. I think there are several reasons:

1) You become the hunted instead of the hunter
2) You out expectations on yourself you didn’t before

The other thing that I think plays a role is camaraderie (or I should say lack of) camaraderie in the women’s game. Tennis is already a bit of a loners game. In the women’s game, it doesn’t seem like many of competitors like each other. I understand the whole competitive edge thing but these issues don’t seem to plague the men’s game as much. The top men seem to, in general, genuinely like each other. It helps when you can commisserate with people going through the same trials and tribulations as you are. Because the women’s game is more “isolationist”, I can see how a young player might struggle with their own successes. There aren’t many peers who you can sit down with that you can share notes with.

SG1 Says:

“You put expectations…” sorry

andrea Says:

well SG1, i think you have a good point. a friend of mine – reflecting on the lack of female mentorship in her industry – flatly stated ‘women are bitches’. i don’t think you can blanket it, but as a woman, i can see her point. while both sexes are competitive in sport, it’s more of a natural occurrence for a woman to keep a lid on things and not share, thinking it diminishes her power or edge. and in tennis, more than one of the players have alluded that they feel they can’t be friendly as it will somehow change how they compete against each other. interesting psychologically for sure, because it also goes against the natural grain for women, who typically gravitate towards groups and socializing more than men.

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