Sloane Stephens is an upcoming American tennis player that many believe to be the next possible Grand Slam champion from the United States. She became a Top50 player in 2012 and had a big breakthrough at the 2013 Australian Open
Sloane Stephens Against Serena Williams In Brisbane 2013
Stephens was born 1993 in Plantation, Florida. She started relatively late at the age of 9 but her talent was visible very early on. Her athleticism is very impressive and seems to run in the family. Her dad had a career in pro football and her mom competed at a very high level as a swimmer.
Sloane had a successful junior tennis career, reaching a career high number 5 world ranking in 2009. She started early at the professional level and ended the year 2012 as the youngest player inside the Top50!
Her biggest success so far is reaching the 2013 Australian Open semifinals with a quarterfinals victory over Serena Williams!
Here Is Video Clip About Her Career Development
Sloane Stephens is a phenomenal athlete with unbelievable firepower on the tennis court! She also has excellent defensive capabilities and is not afraid to come to the net.
Sloane hits her forehand with a huge swing and as a result the shot can be either a strength or a weakness for her; depending on who she plays against and what kind of balls she has to deal with.
The huge swing takes a long time to complete and that makes it difficult to deal with really fast low balls. Therefore, Sloane will most likely always have a more difficult time playing against opponents like Maria Sharapova that hit the ball hard and flat.
On the other hand Sloane can hit phenomenal winners with that forehand off of balls that bounce a little higher with topspin. This is not possible because of the big swing but rather despite the big swing.
Overall that big swing is a bit of a weakness and Sloane simply manages to compensate for this biomechanical weakness with her superb athleticism and hand eye coordination.
Smart opponents that manage to hit fast serves and groundstrokes into her forehand side will always be able to gain an edge that way.
Sloane Stephens has a very good two-handed backhand. She has good grips and her swing path is also very short and compact.
Have A Look At The Short And Compact Backhand Swing
(After The Serve In The Video)
Cross-court Sloane tends to hit a very steady ball, oftentimes hoping to run around and hit some big forehands. Every now and then she goes for a big backhand down the line and those are usually very good.
I have rarely seen Sloane hit slice backhands and therefore it is difficult to make a judgment regarding this shot at the moment.
Stephens is one of the few players on the WTA Tour that is not afraid to come to the net and finish points. She won three Grand slam doubles titles as a junior and most likely that experience helped her a lot in regards to her net game!
Sloane has a good serve with a very fluid motion. Nevertheless, she does not quite get the speed on her first and second serve that she could in my opinion.
One thing that she could really improve upon is the separation angle between the hips and the shoulders. She does not really turn away from the net when serving and that is something that would add a lot more power.
Have A Look At Sloane’s Serve In Slow Motion:
Oftentimes she does not go for enough on her second serve as well. The second serves that used to be just fine against regular opponents on the Pro Tour are not enough against the top players like Williams and Sharapova late in a Grand Slam.
Sloane Stephens still has a lot of room for improvement on the tactical side. She oftentimes stays too far behind the baseline, relying on her phenomenal athleticism.
In order to win Grand Slams I believe she really has to learn to take control of those baseline rallies and improve her court position quite a bit!
Her big forehand swing somewhat forces her to stay back but not as far as she oftentimes does.
Watch How Defensive Sloane Plays Against Sharapova In These Highlights
Fitness is by far Sloane’s biggest strength on the tennis court. She is a phenomenally gifted athlete with unbelievable strength, stamina and flexibility!
I would say that as of January 2013, she is easily already in the Top5 on the WTA Tour in terms of fitness level even though her ranking is not close to that yet.
Even though I haven’t seen Sloane play in that many big matches yet, I believe that she is a mentally strong player. From several interviews that I have seen, she seems to have the right attitude towards the game and with Serena Williams as her friend she also has a really good role model to follow in terms of mental toughness!
Sloane’s greatest strength is without a doubt the physical side of the game. I believe she is also relatively tough mentally. She has room for improvement on the tactical and technical side of the game.
Sloane is one of the big upcoming stars on the WTA tour. Her athleticism alone is a big advantage over the competition. I think she will be a Grand slam contender for many years to come.
In order to become one of the game’s biggest stars, I believe she still needs to learn to play quite a bit more aggressive!
Against most opponents she can compensate being on defense with her athleticism but not against the absolute best when they are playing at their best.
Especially on the serve Sloane needs to be more aggressive. Her forehand does not allow her to stay too close to the line, but I still think she could come in a bit closer than what she usually does!