Sloane Stephens is among a small group of young U.S. players breaking through into the top tiers of the WTA. After steady results this year, including winning her first ITF circuit title at the $50,000 2011 Camparini Gioielli Cup earlier this spring, Stephens reached a career high ranking of #125 and poised to entered the top 100 soon.
ATN took part in a brief conference call with Stephens for the Citi Open taking place in late July in College Park, Maryland where she’s scheduled to compete.
Q: You are in the 120’s now so you almost close to getting into Slams. What are your goals for the rest of the year?
SS: I definitely want to break top 100. Obviously that’s what everyone wants to do. But I’m just trying to keep improving and keep working on my game.
Q: Is there a specific part of your game you’d like to strengthen or improve?
SS: I’d like to strengthen my serve as I’ve always been bothered by it. I’m constantly working on it and that will be my biggest battle but it’s gotten better over the summer so I’m growing to love it now.
Q: Is life on the tour what you expected?
SS: Well I have homework and spend a lot of time with my coach after matches but I haven’t been able to do a lot of the things the older players get to do. I have been to several player parties and those have been fun but yeah, so far it’s been what I’ve expected.
Q: Your Twitter account is a must follow. Do you dig up the quotes yourself or do you get them from quotebooks and what is your philosophy on tweeting?
SS: I love Twitter. I post everything myself but my uncle has been emailing me since I was 10 years old and on the bottom of his emails they have these quotes and I’ve always found them really cool. So I’ve kept all my uncle’s emails and I go back re-read the quotes on there and think “That’s a good one” so I’ll post that one or whatever. Initially it was just being funny and to just throw stuff out there, but then people responded to me saying I love your tweets and can relate to what you say so I started tweeting more and I’m glad people enjoy it.
Q: A lot of your tweets are spiritual. How does your spiritual life help you as a player?
SS: I grew up going to Catholic school so I was always going to mass and when I was younger my mom and I if we were out of town would always find a church and it definitely played a big a role especially the last couple years of my life since I was having such a tough time and I was like why are all these bad things happening to me. But I later realized it’s life, things happen and you have to go on. Now I’m a lot more positive about things because when I was younger I would take things really really seriously and now I’m a total goofball. Now I’m like what happens happens and I’m totally fine with that since life is way too short to be stressing over too many little things.
Q: What was it like winning your first title and how will that experience help you this summer?
SS: It was awesome. I got a Rolex watch when I won so I was excited about that. My mom came to hang out with me that week and I was just playing and playing and not expecting anything so when I won I was like “Yeah, this is cool.” I was real happy with that and I then I did well in the French Open qualies and got on a roll so I was starting to catch up to (Novak) Djokovic there for a bit. I’m definitely glad I got to experience that because it was crazy and intense but every experience is good and I very happy with it.
The Citi Open takes place July 23- 31st in College Park, MD. For more information about the event, visit http://www.citiopentennis.com/