Stephens: I was mentally drained last fall
Sloane Stephens admits she was mentally tired during the 2013 fall stretch. The 20-year-old American reached at least the round of 16 in all four Grand Slams last year, but failed to win more than two consecutive matches in her final four tournaments and consequently missed the cut at the WTA Championships.
“It was a long year—it's hard when you want to do well but you're just so tired and mentally like drained,” said Stephens, who has reached the fourth round of the Australian Open. “I was kind of fighting, like wanting to do really well and then being super tired. It was kind of like a bad combination. In the end it was like okay.
“I learned a lot. If anything, I think I learned more about myself than anything. Just traveling, being with [hitting partner Andrew Fitzpatrick] a lot. I don't know, it was crazy. Like some things that happened were insane, but we definitely learned a lot and it was totally worth it. Never been to China; never did the Asian thing. If anything, it was a really good learning experience.”
Stephens said she took three weeks off after the season ended to refresh her mind. The 2013 Australian Open semifinalist has refused any written interviews outside of press conferences since last July. She only did a couple of interviews after two articles came out in March where she criticized Serena Williams. Stephens says she won’t change her schedule this season.
“I don't think it was like my schedule,” she said. “It was just I had a lot of extra things to do off the court that I obviously wasn't used to. It was a lot of back and forth, running around. In the end, it was all stuff that I loved to do, I wanted to do, but like it was just tiring for anyone. Just kind of wears you down after a while.”