Stephens Wins Luxembourg Opener
Published October 15, 2013 12:03
There were a few rough patches - she watched a 3-1 lead evaporate to 3-all in the first set, and lost eight straight points at one point late in the second set - but the No.2-seeded Stephens was never really in any serious trouble during the one-hour, 17-minute, 63 63 victory over the Swiss wildcard.
"It was tough - obviously playing a player I had never played before, or even seen play, was a little bit tricky," Stephens said. "But I thought I played pretty good overall, so I was happy to get the win."
Stephens is enjoying the indoor courts of the International-level tournament, too. "Last week I played indoors in Linz and it was kind of the same, so it's easy to adjust coming from another indoor event."
And what are the American's goals for the week? "I think it would be awesome to win my first title here," she said. "Luxembourg's been good to me so far so I hope to just keep the good energy flowing."
There's one big name she might have to go through to get that elusive first WTA title though - the No.1 seed, Caroline Wozniacki, looms on the other half of the draw. Wozniacki, arguably among the best defenders in the history of the game, has won all three of the pair's previous meetings in straight sets.
Where does Stephens' game fall in the offensive-defensive spectrum? "I think sometimes I can be really aggressive, and sometimes I can play really well on the defense. It's kind of a combination of both, but it depends on what opponent you're playing, what strategy you'll use, so it all depends."
Bacsinszky was the champion in Luxembourg in 2009 and made it as high as No.37 in the world in 2010 but has since been plagued by injuries. The Swiss was playing her first WTA main draw in a year.
Meusburger has had an absolute breakthrough season, highlighted by her first WTA title at her home event in Bad Gastein, another final in Budapest, the semifinals of Guangzhou and the quarterfinals of Tashkent. She's on the verge of breaking the Top 50 for the first time - and she just turned 30.
And while the Austrian veteran has never beaten a player ranked as high as the No.12-ranked Stephens, she does have one Top 20 win to her name - she beat a No.15-ranked Nathalie Dechy in Fed Cup play back in 2005, though it was on the opposite surface to indoor hardcourts - outdoor clay.