Friday, September 2, 2011
Sloane Stephens, USA
"I told myself when I woke up this morning, I have to focus, be aggressive and play my game. I stuck to that pretty well today," Stephens said. "When she broke me for 5-3 I thought, 'Oh man, this is going to be a long night.' I hung in there. I got my momentum back at 4-5. That helped me in the next few games."
A day after one of America's top players - Venus Williams - had to withdraw from the tournament, Stephens was asked her opinion. "I actually went back home to my hotel to watch her play, and when I got back, the caption said, 'Venus Withdraws.' I said, 'Oh my God, what the heck happened?' I was distraught because I really wanted to watch her play. She was playing great the first day. But I love her. I was sad. I hope she gets better soon.
"Venus is beautiful. I like how she's willing to take risks with her outfits. That's definitely something most players won't do, so that's a step up. She's just an awesome person. Everything she's done for the sport of tennis, she's just an amazing person. She's so classy and elegant. That says a lot.
"They changed tennis. They changed women's sports in general. An inspiration to all women and all girls that play sports."
Stephens was asked about the recent pessimism in the media about the future of American tennis. "I don't even think about it. Fun fact: Christina, Irina and myself are all in the third round of the US Open and playing the PanAm Games together. It's awesome."
Not to be outdone, the far more experienced but still very young Vania King made the third round as well, upsetting No.29 seed Jarmila Gajdosova shortly afterwards, 62 60. King, 22, has been to the third round of Grand Slams three times now, also doing it here in 2009 and at the French Open earlier this year.
Stephens, King, Christina McHale, Irina Falconi and last but not least Serena Williams make it five American women in the third round of the US Open, the most at this event since 2004 (there were eight that year - Lindsay Davenport, Jennifer Capriati, Lisa Raymond, Amy Frazier, Chanda Rubin, Angela Haynes and, of course, the Williams sisters.