Stephens admits to severe nerves at Flushing Meadows

by: AP August 26, 2013

AP Photo

Sloane Stephens, who needed to win a third-set tiebreaker to avoid being upset by Mandy Minella in the first round of the U.S. Open, said this is the most nervous she has been all year.

“I just think here, more expectations here being seeded, as opposed to last year when I was not seeded. I was like 40 in the world, whatever I was ranked. I think now there’s more eyes on me,” the No. 15 seed told reporters. “Some little things that go with it. But I think overall it’s not that bad. But you definitely want to perform well first round of a Grand Slam, especially at home.”

The 20-year-old added that it’s important for her to play more freely if she is to progress further.

“Just play my game and just be relaxed and not have to every point be like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m holding the racquet and my hand’s shaking,” she said. No. I just want to be able to swing out.”

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