Tag Archives: sloane

Australian Open 2013: Serena Williams beats Maria Kirilenko to face Sloane Stephens

Williams cruises past Kirlenko to set up mouthwatering clash against the youngster billed as the next Serena

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

10:42 GMT, 21 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:51 GMT, 21 January 2013

Serena Williams was in fine fettle as she beat Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 6-0 to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals.

The American will face her compatriot Sloane Stephens who is competing in her first grand slam quarter-final after beating Bojana Jovanovski.

Serena landed close to 90 per cent of her first serves and knew herself how strong her performance was.

Flying: Serena Williams made light work of Maria Kirilenko at the Rod Laver

Flying: Serena Williams made light work of Maria Kirilenko at the Rod Laver

'I thought I played really well,' Williams told The Australian. 'I didn't expect to come out and play so well tonight.

'I
was like 'wow'. I saw I had like 95 per cent of first serves in the
first set and I thought: “Who is this girl” It's not me normally.'

Stephens
is the 'next big thing' in American tennis and the clash against Serena
will be intriguing. The 19-year-old beat Jovanovski 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 to
set up the clash against her childhood hero.

Less than 60 minutes: Kirilenko struggled at the hands of Serena

Less than 60 minutes: Kirilenko struggled at the hands of Serena

Although she doesn't like being compared to Serena, there are similarities between the two.

Both have powerful serves and like playing from the baseline, for instance.

They get along well off of the court too, often texting each other. 'We just keep it goofy,' Stephens said. 'She’s like the goofiest person I know.'

Serena said of Sloane: 'I think she's playing great. We played just two weeks ago in Brisbane, she played unbelievably well.

'I think she is an incredible talent and I admire her too. It will be a tough match for me but I feel like I have nothing to lose.'

Tale of the tape

SERENA WILLIAMS

SLOANE STEPHENS

Age

31

19

Weight

155lbs

135lbs

Height

5'9″

5'7″

Birthplace

Saginaw, MI, USA

Plantation, FL, USA

World seeding

3

25

Serena v Sloane

SERENA WILLIAMS

SLOANE STEPHENS

WTA Singles titles

47

0

WTA Doubles titles

22

0

ITF Circuits singles titles

0

1

ITF Doubles titles

0

1

Prize money

$41,960,896

$694,995

Won/Lost Singles

558-108

108-77

Won/Lost Doubles

166-21

29-32

Serena throws her towel in to the sky

Serena throws her towel in to the sky

Heather Watson beats Sloane Stephens at Bank of the West Classic

Watson builds on Wimbledon with Stanford win over Stephens

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UPDATED:

07:46 GMT, 10 July 2012

Heather Watson continued her Wimbledon form to book her place in the second round of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford with a 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-1 win over Sloane Stephens of the United States.

The 20-year-old, up to a career-high ranking of 79 after her run to the third round at the All England Club, was broken three times in the first set and fell behind in the tie-break before winning the last four points in a row to claim the set.

Going strong: Heather Watson was too good for Sloane Stephens

Going strong: Heather Watson was too good for Sloane Stephens

It got worse in the second set as her 19-year-old opponent, ranked 30 place above her, broke twice to take it, but Watson stormed through the third for victory.

Watson will face Belgian fifth seed Yanina Wickmayer in the second round.

Marching on: Heather Watson is through to round two in California

Marching on: Heather Watson is through to round two in California

Wimbledon 2012: Sabine Lisicki won"t complaine about Maria Sharapova"s grunting

Moan ranger: Sharapova's big racket is threatened by Lisicki

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UPDATED:

21:34 GMT, 29 June 2012

Sabine Lisicki booked a fourth-round date with Maria Sharapova and has refused to rule out making a complaint if the Russian’s grunting becomes unbearable.

The hard-hitting German claimed a 7-6, 1-6, 6-2 triumph over up-and-coming American Sloane Stephens as she moved to replicate her efforts of 12 months ago when she reached the semi-finals.

Blocking her path is Sharapova, who brushed aside Su-Wei Hsieh 6-1, 6-4 in double-quick time on Centre Court. And Lisicki now faces the issue of whether to complain about the noise coming from the other side of the net, as she did during her victory over Bojana Jovanovski earlier this week.

Plenty to shout about: Maria Sharapova on her way to victory against Su-Wei Hsieh

Plenty to shout about: Maria Sharapova on her way to victory against Su-Wei Hsieh

During their second-round encounter the 15th seed invoked the ‘hindrance rule’, bringing the issue to the attention of umpire Mariana Alves, who failed to take any action.

Lisicki moaned afterwards that it was so loud she ‘couldn’t hear the sound of the ball hitting the racket’, claiming the grunting was handing her opponent an unfair advantage.

The Russian remains one of the worst when it comes to making a noise and it remains to be seen whether Lisicki will take similar action. ‘I’m going to focus on myself in that match,’ said the German. ‘We will see what happens out there. It did bother me in my last match and that’s why I complained. It was better afterwards.’

Going through: Sabine Lisicki beat Sloane Stephens

Going through: Sabine Lisicki beat Sloane Stephens

Sharapova has thrown her weight behind a campaign by the Women’s Tennis Association to stamp out a ploy that many see as gamesmanship, but as it only applies to junior tournaments, that is little surprise.

Top seed Sharapova responded tersely when pressed as to how she would react in such an instance: ‘Well, I haven’t been in that situation and, if I am, I’ll tell you about it afterwards.’

Lisicki had to draw on her experience to beat Stephens, who boasts enough power — even at the age of 19 — to trouble the best. The match was in the balance after Lisicki won just one game in the second set but an early break saw her grab the initiative in the decider.

‘Sloane played great,’ said Lisicki. ‘She’s a good, talented girl. I knew she could serve well, so I had to take my chances.

On course: World No 1 Sharapova is hoping to win another Wimbledon title

On course: World No 1 Sharapova is hoping to win another Wimbledon title

‘She plays differently to the Williams sisters and it’s hard to compare players because everyone’s style is different. But it’s good to see someone coming up from the States after the Williamses.’

While the majority of spectators on Court No 1 would have known little about Hsieh, the same did not apply to Sharapova, who was more than happy to play the girl from Chinese Taipei on grass.

‘I faced her many times in juniors,’ said Sharapova. ‘She used to be a nightmare for me because she used to slice and drop-shot on clay.

‘I was like, “Where did they learn how to play tennis like that” She switched racket hands and we used to have real battles. But I don’t think I gave her the time to do all of that today on grass.’