2018 seemed to be the year of the consecration for Sloane Stephens, especially considering her three highlights: victory at the Miami Open, defeat at the French Open final and at the WTA Finals in Singapore. Considering that the previous year she had won her first Slam, in New York, and she won the Fed Cup with her team, then, we all expected her to have a 2019 full of fireworks.
For now instead, the American player, also due to some physical problems, played the first four months of the year in an almost soporific way. Her technical and tactical hibernation, has produced few good results, and her results have not up to her strength.
From the beginning the year, Stephens reached the first round in Brisbane, where she was defeated by Johanna Konta, second round in Sydney (Yulia Puntentseva), fourth round at the Australian Open (Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova), second round in Acapulco (Beatriz Haddad Maia), second round at Indian Wells (Stefanie Voegele), third round in Miami (Tatjana Maria) and semifinal in Charleston (Madison Keys) and Madrid (Kiki Bertens).
Very disappointing results, but with the arrival of the clay season, something could change. This has already been seen in Charleston. Stephens, with her tennis and her skills, would have the ability to play well both on fast surfaces and on clay courts.
The semifinal got on green clay could be the starting point for her season, which has been below expectations, up to now. If her athletic shape were to level up, it would not be foolhardy to think of a great result in Paris.
Mentally, she is very solid, and from a technical point of view, she combines excellent tennis from the baseline with a great forehand and a fantastic touch. Stephens is a very unpredictable player, able to stay behind barricades for months, and then level up in the decisive weeks, becoming unplayable for her rivals. Will she make it in time to change things before Paris or will her technical and tactical numbness persist?