Sloane Stephens Has No Intention To Play Beyond 30, For Now - UBITENNIS
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Sloane Stephens Has No Intention To Play Beyond 30, For Now

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Sloane Stephens (zimbio.com)

Despite the trend in players playing later in their career, US Open champion Sloane Stephens is not convinced that she will follow suit.

 

Crashing out to Daria Kasatkina at Indian Wells on Monday, the 25-year-old has set out an aim of playing on the tour for a further five years. The past 12 months have been a roller coaster for the American. After a lengthy absence due to a foot injury, she stunned the women’s tour by lifting the US Open title as an unseeded player. Since then, she has only managed to win three matches on the tour. Including one earlier this week against Victoria Azarenka at the BNP Paribas Open.

“I’ll be 25 next week and hopefully I can play another five years. And in those five years hopefully I can have another (grand slam title).” She said.
“If all goes well, you know, hopefully in that five years I’ll win some more tournaments and hopefully do some other amazing things on and off the court. So this does not define how my career is going to end up.”

The five-year deadline given by Stephens has caught some off guard. In the current top 100, 20% of WTA players and 40% of ATP players are aged 30 or over. Asked by one journalist if she would like to emulate Federer, who continues to play at the age of 36, she happily responded with ‘definitely not.’

Stephens could be persuaded to rethink her plans by examples set by other players. Serena Williams has begun her return to the tour since giving birth in September. Should the 23-time grand slam champion impress in her return, it could have the power to change the mind of her younger compatriot.

“Serena had a baby, and eventually I want to have a baby as well. So if she comes back and wins a couple more slams, maybe I will think about it.” Explained Stephens. “But I’m kind of just gauging it on how well she does and then we’ll see.”

‘It’s not a crash’

Since winning her maiden grand slam title, the world No.13 has a win-loss record of 3-8 (not counting Fed Cup losses). Nevertheless, Stephens has played down the significance of her results. Insisting that it is by no means a ‘crash’ in her game. Even though her last win against a top 40 player was Madison Keys in New York.

“I wouldn’t say there was a crash, but obviously going to China after you win the US Open is not always going to be the funnest thing.” She said. “So I think now I’m kind of getting back into it, and I’m just looking forward to playing again.”

After Miami comes the clay season, where Shephens is hoping to rediscover some of her form. Last year she was unable to play any tournaments on the surface due to injury.

“I think it will be a good opportunity to get back on the clay. And having not played on clay in a while, I’m looking forward to it. So hopefully I can get some good results there. That would be nice.” The American concluded about her future chances.

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‘Another Level’ – Nick Kyrgios Praises Rising Star Jannik Sinner

This week the world No.11 is bidding to win his third consecutive indoor tournament.

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Jannik Sinner (ITA), (Erste Bank Open 2021, Wiener Stadthalle); Copyright: e-motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG/Martin Steiger

Jannik Sinner’s recent dominance when it comes to playing tennis indoors hasn’t gone unnoticed with one of his peers praising him on social media.

 

The 20-year-old defeated Reilly Opelka in the second round of the Vienna Open on Wednesday in what is his fifth consecutive win on the Tour. Impressively Sinner has now won 18 straight sets on indoor hardcourts. Last Sunday he claimed his fifth Tour title at the European Open to become the youngest ATP player to win that many ATP trophies since Novak Djokovic back in 2007.

Sinner’s achievements were highlighted on social media by journalist Ben Rothenberg who posted a tweet of the 18 sets he has won. That caught the attention of former top 20 player and two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Nick Kyrgios who paid his own tribute to the Italian.

“He is another level. That’s for sure, played him in Washington doubles. Never played someone who hit the ball as hard,” he wrote.

The two are yet to play against each other in singles competition. In Washington Kyrgios and Frances Tiafoe lost 4-6, 4-6, to Sinner and his partner Sebastian Korda.

Sinner’s latest win in Vienna has boosted his chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin next month. He has risen back up the standings to 10th in the race after overtaking Indian Wells champion Cameron Norrie. Norrie will play his second round match on Thursday.

“I think I had not so many chances and I used them. I think that was the key today,” Sinner said of his latest win against Opelka. “I served well. My service holds were always quite fast and good. I felt well on the baseline, so I knew when I went in a rally that somehow I was going to win the point. But it’s never easy playing against him. You never have rhythm.”

Awaiting Sinner in the next round will be Austria’s Denis Novak who is currently ranked 116th in the world and is yet to beat a top 10 player in his career.

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Andrey Rublev moves past Ilya Ivashka to reach the quarter finals in St. Petersburg

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Andrey Rublev overcame Ilya Ivashka 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 39 minutes to advance to the quarter finals for the third time in his career in St. Petersburg Open. 

 

Rublev fended off all seven break points and earned two breaks in the seventh game of the first set and in the third game of the second set. The Moscow native player fired 10 aces and won 84 % of his first service points. 

The eight-time titlist is aiming to win his third career title on home soil after his previous titles in Moscow 2019 and St. Petersburg 2020. 

Rublev set up a quarter final clash against either Sebastian Korda or Botic Van de Zandschulp.Karen Khachanov knocked out Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-3 after 1 hour and 25 minutes. Khachanov will take on 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, who eased past Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-2 6-3 after 1 hour and 23 minutes. Cilic leads 1-0 against Khachanov in their only previous head-to-head match in Cincinnati in 2018.

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Matteo Berrettini rallies from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in Vienna

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This year’s Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini came back from one set down to beat Nikoloz Basilashvlili 6-7 (5-7 ) 6-3 6-2 after 2 hours and 5 minutes reaching the quarter final at the Erste Bank in Vienna. 

 

Berrettini saved all three break points he faced and hit 22 aces, including two on the last two points of the match. 

Number 3 seed Berrettini had won three of his previous head-to-head matches against Indian Wells finalist Basilashvili, but they met for the first time on in indoor court. Berrettini had beaten Basilashvili in Winston Salem 2018, Halle 2019 and Rome 2021. 

Both players went on serve in the first set. Berrettini saved the only break point in the second game. Basilashvili earned a mini-break to take a 3-1 lead. Berrettini pulled back on serve to draw level to 3-3. Basilashvili earned another mini-break on the 10th point to earn two set points at 6-4 and converted his second chance to win the tie-break 7-5. 

Berrettini saved a break point to hold serve at deuce in the first game of the second set. The Italian player earned a break in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead and held his next service games before closing out the second set with a double break in the ninth game. 

Berrettini went up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game of the decider. The Queen’s tournament champion faced a break point in the seventh game after a double fault, but he saved it with an ace. He served out the third set 6-3 with his 22nd ace. Berrettini set up a quarter final match against Spanish Next Gen player Carlos Alcaraz, who beat Andy Murray 6-3 6-4.

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