Former champion Sloane Stephens and fellow American Madison Keys, the player she beat in the 2017 US Open final, both advanced to the second round of the US Open Grand Slam event in New York on Tuesday with straight sets wins and both were happy to get a win under their belt and gain some confidence.
Sloane Stephens & Madison Keys trying to rebuild confidence after first round wins
Seeded No. 26 in the draw this time, Stephens defeated Mihaela Buzarnescu, of Romania 6-3, 6-3 in her first match. Speaking to the press after the win, Stephens says she is trying to regain her confidence but knows it is a long process.
"I thought I played well tonight. Obviously haven't been playing that great. Still kind of finding my confidence and my rhythm. Just trying to feel myself on the court a little bit better. I just kind of felt more like my old self.
That's really all I'm really working towards. Obviously it would be amazing to play my best tennis ever, but I know that takes a bit. I'm going to have to just keep working, trying to get back to where I was."
Seeded No. 7 this time, the 25 year old Keys scored a 6-1, 6-1 win over Hungary's Timea Babos on the Louis Armstrong Stadium and spoke about playing without fans. "The easiest thing is there’s definitely no noise, so you can hear everything that’s going on on the court.
But the most difficult is definitely having to produce all of the energy yourself. We obviously all want to be out here and we all want to win. We’re really excited to be back and competing. But not having that fan energy to get you through tough moments has been really difficult.
It’s been completely on us to create all of our own energy”. The American added that she was happy with her performance on Tuesday and will try to improve on the same for her next match. "Obviously to feel like I did a lot of things well is a bonus.
I think I returned well. I think I served well. That definitely builds up my confidence. At the end of the day, it's just a win. I need to continue to do that and try to bring that level every day." Madison Keys will next meet Spain's Aliona Bolsova in the second round while Sloane Stephens will play Olga Govortsova in her next match.