While Serena Williams continues to dominate women’s professional tennis, there is the harsh reality that she is reaching the twilight of her career and that another American will need to step into her commanding role in the sport. Right now, that top prospect is 21-year-old Sloane Stephens, a captivating youngster who made waves after a 2013 Australian Open semifinal run. However, Stephens failed to build on that success in 2014, throwing her great potential into doubt. Is 2015 going to be the year she reaches the next level?
Like Serena, Sloane Stephens is a physically gifted player. She can outlast opponents and has a well-stocked arsenal of technique. She has even beat Serena Williams! Clearly the possibility of greatness is there, but can she push forth and start claiming titles?
Stephens has never reached the final of a professional WTA tournament, and that is the next crucial step in her career. She has performed decently in several Grand Slams and generally pushes through to the 4th round, but as the competition level rises she often falters.
Now ranked 34th, Stephens will be squaring off against Victoria Azarenka in the 2015 Australian Open first round, hardly the ideal opening pairing. But this is the result of her largely unimpressive 2014 season. If Stephens is going to take that next step to stardom this year, she needs to win a tournament. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a Grand Slam, but if she can take the title at an event like the BNP Paribas Open or Lacoste Miami Open, Stephens will be on the right path to greatness that so many people have predicted for her. Here’s to a big 2015 for American tennis star Sloane Stephens!
Learn more about rising star, Sloane Stephens.
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