Sloane Stephens pleased with hardcourt preparations as US Open defence looms

Michael Graham
Sloane Stephens celebrates
Sloane Stephens celebrates

Sloane Stephens is feeling at home as her US Open title defence looms. 

The American was a surprise winner last year, delighting the New York crowd to claim her maiden WTA Tour Grand Slam title.

She nearly added to it on the clay of Roland Garros, where she was defeated in final of the French Open by world number one Simona Halep.

However, she admits she is much more confident on hard-courts, even though she knows expectations on her will be cracked up this time around.

“Preparations for hard-courts have been good. Excited to be back on hardcourts, it’s my favourite surface, and back in the United States,” Stephens said.

“Defending any tournament is hard but especially a Grand Slam. I’ve never been in that situation before. I know there will be a lot of nerves and excitement going into the US Open but I’m looking forward to it.”

Before the US Open comes around, Stephens will play a full warm-up schedule, starting with the Citi Open in Washington this week – a tournament she won in 2015.

Servin’ @citiopen

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“There are ups and downs each week. You have to work on every aspect of your game and make sure you are getting better.

“I won my first tournament here. That will always be cool for me. I love the courts here.”