News

Sloane Stephens at ease at the U.S. Open

Sloane Stephens at ease at the U.S. Open

Sloane Stephens of the U.S. celebrates defeating Urszula Radwanska of Poland at the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York, August 28, 2013. Photo: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) – As the anointed leader of the next generation of American tennis players, Sloane Stephens is getting used to being in the spotlight.

At the U.S. Open on Wednesday, there was she again, under the bright lights of New York but in the most intimidating stadium in world tennis.

The 20-year-old had been a bundle of nerves in her first match on Monday at Louis Armstrong Stadium and needed nearly three hours to advance.

But on Wednesday, in front of a much bigger audience, she passed her latest test with flying colors, demolishing Poland’s Urszula Radwanksa 6-1 6-1 to ease into the third round.

“I just had a goal, I was going to come out here and play aggressive, not miss a ball and make her work. That’s all I can do,” she said in a courtside interview.

“I have nothing to lose. It’s the U.S. Open so might as well come out and swing and have fun and I think that’s what I did tonight.”

If Stephens was unfazed by the boisterous crowds and the daunting size of the center court stadium, she was unruffled by the late timing of her match.

After rain had washed out most of the day session and delayed the start of the night program, her match did not begin until 11.53 p.m.

Only one match, the 1987 clash between Gabriela Sabatini and Beverly Bowes that started at midnight, had begun later.

“I never started that late. It was definitely a long experience,” she said.

“But I played good. Maybe I should do that more often.

“Winning my first match on Ashe is a good feeling, a good way to do it.”

Stephens also made the third round in her two previous appearances in the main draw at the U.S. Open. To make the fourth round for the first time, she will need to beat her Fed Cup team mate Jamie Hampton after she beat Kristina Mladenovic of France 7-5 6-4.

“It’s always tough playing obviously another American. Jamie is a good friend. Obviously it will be a good match,” Stephens said.

“Playing at the U.S. Open, it’s a pretty big deal. I’m looking forward to it.”

Recent Headlines

in Music

CHART TOPPERS: This week’s top pop songs

Fresh
magic

LISTEN: This week's top pop songs, according to the latest Billboard chart.

in Entertainment

WATCH: 10 best ‘Simpsons’ episodes

Fresh
In this photo released by Fox, Homer explains why he wants to bring back the annual 4th of July fireworks display, after it's cancelled for budget reasons, in the "Yellow Badge of Cowardge" Season Finale episode of "The Simpsons," in May 2014. The full 25-year run of "The Simpsons" will arrive on cable channel FXX with a summer marathon, to be paired this fall with a digital extravaganza that could turn other TV shows yellow with envy. "I'm not going to over-promise, but I think this website will provide you with affordable health care," longtime "Simpsons" executive producer Al Jean told a TV critics' meeting Monday, July 21, 2014.

The recent marathon of all 552 episodes of "The Simpsons" inspired us to sit down and come up with our 10 favorite episodes. Enjoy!

in Music

Miley Cyrus pays homeless friend’s legal fees

Miley Cyrus arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, in Inglewood, Calif.

Miley Cyrus has offered to pay the legal fees for a homeless young man she took to the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday.