News

Sloane Stephens at ease at the U.S. Open

Sloane Stephens at ease at the U.S. Open

Sloane Stephens of the U.S. celebrates defeating Urszula Radwanska of Poland at the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York, August 28, 2013. Photo: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) – As the anointed leader of the next generation of American tennis players, Sloane Stephens is getting used to being in the spotlight.

At the U.S. Open on Wednesday, there was she again, under the bright lights of New York but in the most intimidating stadium in world tennis.

The 20-year-old had been a bundle of nerves in her first match on Monday at Louis Armstrong Stadium and needed nearly three hours to advance.

But on Wednesday, in front of a much bigger audience, she passed her latest test with flying colors, demolishing Poland’s Urszula Radwanksa 6-1 6-1 to ease into the third round.

“I just had a goal, I was going to come out here and play aggressive, not miss a ball and make her work. That’s all I can do,” she said in a courtside interview.

“I have nothing to lose. It’s the U.S. Open so might as well come out and swing and have fun and I think that’s what I did tonight.”

If Stephens was unfazed by the boisterous crowds and the daunting size of the center court stadium, she was unruffled by the late timing of her match.

After rain had washed out most of the day session and delayed the start of the night program, her match did not begin until 11.53 p.m.

Only one match, the 1987 clash between Gabriela Sabatini and Beverly Bowes that started at midnight, had begun later.

“I never started that late. It was definitely a long experience,” she said.

“But I played good. Maybe I should do that more often.

“Winning my first match on Ashe is a good feeling, a good way to do it.”

Stephens also made the third round in her two previous appearances in the main draw at the U.S. Open. To make the fourth round for the first time, she will need to beat her Fed Cup team mate Jamie Hampton after she beat Kristina Mladenovic of France 7-5 6-4.

“It’s always tough playing obviously another American. Jamie is a good friend. Obviously it will be a good match,” Stephens said.

“Playing at the U.S. Open, it’s a pretty big deal. I’m looking forward to it.”

Recent News

5 hours ago in Entertainment

Depp back as Mad Hatter in ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’

22-overlay-3

The movie follows on from the 2010 box office hit "Alice in Wonderland," which starred Depp alongside Australian actress Mia Wasikowska as the titular heroine and Oscar nominee Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen.

6 hours ago in Music

Nikki Sixx ‘turns his back’ on Motley Crue

nikkisixx961740673643

Drummer Tommy Lee says he hasn't heard from Sixx since the L.A. show on New Year's Eve, and the bassist made it pretty clear he didn't want to stay in contact.

6 hours ago in Entertainment

Fans campaign to give Captain America a boyfriend

twitter

TRENDING ON TWITTER: An online campaign emerges calling for significant LGBT characters in superhero movies. But dissenters weigh in, too.

6 hours ago in Entertainment

Would you watch a Kardashian family movie?

kardashians465492076332

Kim Kardashian and her family have reportedly been offered more than $100million to make their big screen debut.

6 hours ago in Entertainment

Cosby lawyers outline defense as case heads to trial

25-overlay-7

Bill Cosby's lawyers have outlined the tough questions the accuser likely will face now that their client is heading to trial in a criminal sexual-assault case.