Sunday, June 1, 2014
American Sloane Stephens in third-round match at 2014 French Open.
Sloane Stephens is through to her sixth straight fourth-round appearance at a major after handily accounting for dangerous Russian lefty Ekaterina Makarova 6-3, 6-4.
In a more evenly-matched showdown than the scoreline would suggest, it was Stephens who converted when it mattered, winning three of four break points as opposed to Marakova’s one from four.
The American’s half-dozen fourth-round berths in a row is the most among any of her rivals on the Tour but the weight of expectation continues to mount. She is the highest-ranked player never to have won a title - and has yet to reach a final.
“Yeah, it's a great thing [the last 16 streak]. If I knew [why she plays better at Slams than in WTA events], I would capitalise on it. I would do it every week. But I guess it's all just a learning experience,” Stephens said. “I just peak at four tournaments a year. Every other tournament just gets me ready for these.”
Still a long way from the business end of the tournament, but Stephens is well-pitted to make the breakthrough on what she says is her favourite surface.