Sloane Stephens has to come to terms with coach Nick Saviano, TENNIS.com has learned, and the two will begin their partnership two weeks from now in Hobart, Australia. Saviano has coached a number of players over the years, most recently world No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard. Stephens is scheduled to play the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand next week.
The American began hitting with Saviano in early December in Florida. They will also work together at the Australian Open, and perhaps the rest of the year.
An Australian Open semifinalist in 2013, Stephens had a difficult year in 2014, suffering a wrist injury during the early summer and going just 21-20 in singles. She did not play after September due to her injury. She also worked with coach Paul Annacone during an eight-month partnership, and was briefly coached by Thomas Hogstedt.
In 2013, Stephens reached her highest world ranking at No. 11; she is currently ranked No. 36. She could still secure a seed at the Australian Open depending on her performance next week in New Zealand.
Stephens could have decided to play Brisbane and/or Sydney, which feature tougher competition, but elected to play in the smaller tournaments. Last year at the Australian Open, Stephens reached the fourth round, where she fell to Victoria Azarenka.