Stephens' 2014 Grass Debut A Success

Sloane Stephens beat Francesca Schiavone at the Aegon Classic on Wednesday to set up a third round encounter with another young American.

Published June 11, 2014 12:13


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BIRMINGHAM, England - No.3 seed Sloane Stephens defeated Francesca Schiavone in straight sets in her 2014 grass court debut match at the Aegon Classic on Wednesday.

Watch match highlights, interviews and much more video from Birmingham on wtatennis.com!

The Plot
Stephens is trying to prove she can mimic her success at Grand Slams, where she is 31-12 including a fourth round showing at this year's French Open, at regular WTA events, where she was 52-52 coming into this match. Though she doesn't have a lot of experience on grass, she showed she is comfortable on it with her quarterfinal run at Wimbledon last year.

Former French Open champion Schiavone, who lost her Roland Garros opener this year, looked impressive in her first round defeat of Zheng Jie here, while Stephens had a bye.

Turning Point
After coasting through the first set, Stephens faced a bit of resistance in the second, but trailing 4-3, she held, broke and held again for the 6-2, 6-4 victory - her second in three meetings with Schiavone.

By The Numbers
Stephens faced five break points on her serve but fought each of them off, while converting on three of seven on Schiavone's serve.

"I never look at draws, so I never know who I'm playing," Stephens said. "Every tournament has tough competition. I just have to go out there and focus on myself and my game."

What's Next
Stephens plays fellow American Alison Riske, who was a straight set winner over Nadiia Kichenok.

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