Stephens 'taking it all in stride' before US Open title defense

by: Matt Cronin | August 11, 2018

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WATCH —Tennis Channel discusses Stephen's chances of defending US Open title:

Sloane Stephens is not putting a lot of pressure on her defence at the US Open, where she won her first Grand Slam title in 2017.

“I have a few goals that I still want to reach. I think US Open, if I do really great, if I do really bad, it really doesn't matter,” Stephens said. “I still have to play five more tournaments. I think now, just kind of taking it all in stride, trying to play my best, compete, get a lot of matches under my belt.”

Stephens also reached back-to-back semifinals in 2017 before the US Open, getting the first wins of her comeback from foot surgery at Toronto, followed by another run at Cincinnati.

Now, in Montreal the same week, she is into the final, and isn't concerned about whether she can sustain her form because of her experience a year ago. 

“Everyone is different. I mean, when you're playing good matches in big tournaments like this, I don't think it's peaking too soon. It's just getting confidence and playing good tennis. Leading up to the US Open, obviously last year it worked pretty well," Stephens said. “I made semis back to back, then ended up winning the US Open. So I don't really think there's such a thing.”

She also has been partnering with Genie Bouchard in Montreal, and says that it can be a lot of fun as long as she limits it to a few tournaments.

“I rarely play doubles, so for me it's not really that big of a deal. I don't think I'm sacrificing anything yet," she said. "It's one week for me. I probably won't play doubles for another couple of weeks. I try to keep a good balance.

"I’m not a doubles specialist."

ATP Toronto
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev headline the Rogers Cup in Toronto. Watch live coverage from four courts on Tennis Channel Plus beginning Monday, August 6th at 11:00 A.M.

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