Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Tennis | Australian Open

Stephens says Serena is 'just another match'



American teen tennis sensation Sloane Stephens on Monday insisted her Australian Open quarterfinal clash with her idol Serena Williams is "just another match" and she will not be star-struck.

The 19-year-old, whose poise and power has seen her compared to a young Williams, is seen as one of the brightest talents in the women's game and she reinforced that view by reaching her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski put her through her paces before she prevailed 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 to set up a clash with the 15-time Grand Slam champion, who has won the Australian Open five times.

Stephens has already played Williams once this year, at the Brisbane International where she lost 6-4, 6-3, also in the quarters, and said she would treat Wednesday's clash as she would any match.

"She's obviously one of the greatest players to ever play the game. Without all that, it's still a tennis match," she said.

"You have to go out and play your game, no matter what. Without the titles, with the titles, it's still a tennis match.

"The court's the same size. You're still playing a regular person across the net. You've just got to go out and play."

Despite Williams first playing Grand Slams tennis while Stephens was only five years old, the teen insisted she would not be in awe, saying she got past that during their recent clash in Brisbane.

"I mean, that was two weeks ago now, three weeks ago," she said.

"I played seven other matches or eight other matches, so I'm kind of past what happened then.

"But I think definitely just treat it as another match. You just go out and do your best."

Against Jovanovski, Stephens steamrolled through the first set before the 56th-ranked Serb, 21, woke up and gave her a fright.

The American grabbed the decisive first break on the Serb's opening service game and she didn't look back in a set that lasted just 25 minutes.

Jovanovski, another of the tour's big grunters, put up more of a fight as the second set got underway. Both players held serve for 2-2 before Stephens hit a backhand long to give the Serb her first glimmer of hope with a break.

But she threw it away immediately, netting a forehand at break point down before breaking straight back to go 4-3 in front as the intensity of the match rose.

Stephens was rattled and making mistakes as Jovanovski capitalised, winning her serve and then breaking again to take it into a deciding set.

Both players were struggling with their serve and the set saw five breaks as it turned into a baseline slugfest that Stephens finally won.

"First set I came out, I was playing good, not missing much. She was making a few errors," said Stephens.

"Then she brought it full force second, third set. I just had to find a way. I think mentally it was pretty tough."

Shop

Tennis - Know the game
Contains what you need to know about the sport, including equipment, rules, techniques and training tips
R64.55
Open: An Autobiography
He is one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court -- but from early childhood Andre Agassi hated the...
R144.32
Wimbledon 2013 (Pre-order)
The Official Story of the Championships
R318.99


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Fri, 18 Apr @ 05:00
Mon, 21 Apr @ 09:00
Mon, 21 Apr @ 14:30
Mon, 21 Apr @ 15:30

Sports Talk



Kevin Anderson
“Here’s looking at you kid”
Tennis must surely involve one of the more challenging travel schedules of any professional sport....

Haze's Comment
Weird and wonderful Wimbledon
What is it with these playing surfaces in England? First the England cricket team astoundingly had...