© Ella Ling

Sloane Stephens

Bollettieri: Stephens has the perfect build for tennis

Nick Bolletierri talks to The Tennis Space about Sloane Stephens, the American teenager who defeated Serena Williams to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open:
Bollettieri on whether Stephens can go on to win this Australian Open: “This girl had been doing well, but for many people it will be like she’s come from nowhere. A lot of it will come down to whether this girl can face the atmosphere of the semi-finals and final, the atmosphere of pressure, of television and of everything. There’s no doubt about her physically, but it’s up to what happens in her mind. I was impressed with her interviews and the respect she had for Serena.”
Bollettieri on Stephens’ athleticism and talent: “She’s got a sporting background – her daddy played American Football – and she’s a fabulous athlete. Her build is exactly what you want from an athlete. I first met her when she was 15, and would have liked her to have stayed at my academy. Her groundstrokes are super, super special, with an aggressive forehand and backhand. She’s also got a great defensive slice and she’s comfortable at the net.”
Bollettieri on her future: “If she avoids injury and keeps focused, and keeps level-headed – she mustn’t go crazy – and keeps good people around her, and plays a smart schedule, I see a great future for her. She can be a top player. Remember that she’s still a teenager. She’s going to be challenging for grand slams for years.”
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