Share
Sports

Sloane Stephens' strategy on wasted match points: Forget 'em

Share

PARIS (AP) — Mulling over what might have been is never a great tactic in tennis.

Just ask Sloane Stephens, who managed to regroup from four wasted match points in the second set of a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 win over 71st-ranked Polona Hercog on Friday to reach the fourth round of the French Open.

“Honestly, I don’t even remember what happened. It seems like so long ago. But I know that I didn’t win them. That was the main point of that,” Stephens said after the draining victory on the hottest day of the tournament so far — with temperatures soaring to nearly 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 Celsius) after the much cooler and rainy opening days.

With second-seeded Karolina Pliskova losing to Petra Martic, No. 7 Stephens is the highest-ranked player remaining in the bottom half of the draw. But her next opponent, 2016 Roland Garros champion Garbiñe Muguruza, is looking more and more dangerous every match.

Stephens, last year’s runner-up in Paris and the 2017 U.S. Open champion, quickly stormed to a 4-0 lead in the third against Hercog then held herself together when it got close at the end

Trending:
Alabama Hospital Defies Biden Administration, Ends COVID Vaccine Requirement for Staff

“After the second set I just tried to regroup. I got off to a good start and just tried to hang with it,” the American said. “When you have match points like that, you have to put it out of your mind, otherwise it just stays with you, lingers, brings you down. It’s no fun.”

With both players hitting the ball tentatively in the final games, Stephens finally whipped an inside-out forehand winner on her sixth match point, then celebrated with a scream and fist pumps.

Earlier this week, Stephens credited her engagement last month to U.S. national soccer player Jozy Altidore with helping her tennis.

“When your home life is good and your family is good and you’re happy, I think that definitely does affect how you play on court,” she said.

The other fourth-round matchups set Friday: No. 23 Donna Vekic vs. No. 26 Johanna Konta; Marketa Vondrousova vs. No. 12 Anastasija Sevastova; and Kaia Kanepi vs. Martic.

Muguruza dispatched ninth-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-3.

“She’s playing well; I’m playing well. I think it’s a good matchup,” Stephens said. “You’re playing for a spot in the quarters of a Slam. Just got to leave everything out there and see what happens.”

And if match points — or any important point for that matter — go wasted, quickly move on.

___

Related:
Decorated Gymnast and Foster Care Survivor Simone Biles Comes Out in Support of Abortion

More AP Tennis: https://apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

___

Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AndrewDampf

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
,
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation