Tennis - Sloane Stephens' growing stature in women's tennis has seen her being picked as the second singles player for the Fed Cup tie vs Sweden this weekend, ahead of former world no. 1 Venus Williams.
Stephens is currently ranked no. 16 in the world as compared to no. 21 for Venus, who has struggled with fitness at times following her diagnosis with Sjorgen's Syndrome.
World no. 1 Serena Williams will also play singles for the United States in the tie which takes place at Delray Beach.
Stephens commented on being picked for the singles, "It'll be my first singles match, so it'll be a little you know, I'll be a little nervous,. But I have a great team behind me and I know they'll be really supportive, so I'm excited.''
Serena, who takes on Johanna Larsson, commented, "I can only just do the best that I can. I have not played her before, but I will learn a little bit about her game first few games and go from there."
Venus is expected to play the doubles if required with Varvara Lepchenko.
U.S. Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez commented, "Basically, we stuck to rankings. Serena and Sloane are one and two for the team right now. Everybody is hitting the ball well and playing great. That the good news for me, is I have four great possibilities for all the matches.''
The winner of this weekend's tie will secure a spot in the 2014 Fed Cup World Group.
How to play from the baseline
The expression “to endure the rally” is about those indeterminate moments of a rally where none of the players is leading.
The ability to endure the rally is fundamental when you play a “long rally”, because it offers you the chance to measure your opponent’s strong points and vulnerabilities, besides letting you position as best as possible for your next offensive shot.