by Richard Kent BASN Staff Report
CONNECTICUT — Sloane Stephens entered 2014 with huge expectations.
She had a new coach in Paul Annacone, Roger Federer’s former coach and had a strong 2013, making Grand Slam semis. Entering the US Open, Stephens has had a disappointing 2014, at least for her expectations.
She has not made a WTA final and has performed poorly in the other 3 Grand Slams. This was highlighted by a stunning first round loss at Wimbledon to no. 109 Maria Kirilenko. Stephens dispatched Annacone not long after Wimbledon and has been experimenting with coaches.
Some question her all-court play as it leads to periods of inconsistency.
Stephens is an amazing talent, who may have had too much Grand Slam success too early in her career. That led to many sponsorship opportunities, which probably diverted her attention, in part from tennis. She enters the Open as the no. 21 seed and does not have a diffcult quarter.
The only way for her to salvage some respectabilty is to have a strong Open, and for Stephens that means making it to at least the semis.