There's one upside to having a down season, says Sloane Stephens—she has a lot of room to improve.
The American only reached the quarterfinals at the French Open and the semifinals of Madrid, but failed to go that deep at her other events. She won just four matches in seven events to finish the season.
”I’m excited to start a new season because midway through 2019, I was ready for it to be over,” Stephens told Reuters. “I’m ready for a fresh start. I literally have nothing to lose, a lot in front of me and nowhere to go but up. For me it’s a good position to be in.”
Stephens has also switched coaches a couple of times, splitting with Kamau Murray coming into the season and then working with Sven Groeneveld on clay and grass before re-uniting with Murray. The 26-year-old also got engaged to her boyfriend, Jozy Altidore, seven months ago.
The former Grand Slam champion's last title was in Miami in 2018, and she also reached the 2018 French Open final, having won her first major the year before at the US Open. She's aiming to be more consistent again next season.
“Managing the ups and downs throughout the year is a pretty big goal," said Stephens. "It’s about staying healthy and happy—enjoying my tennis and not getting too burnt out, at the beginning of the year, knowing that it is a very long season,” Stephens said.
Stephens recently hosted a training camp for juniors with her foundation at the USTA's National Training Center.
She is currently No. 25, having been as high as No. 3 in the rankings.