Sloane Stephens reflects on Emma Raducanu loss in Melbourne

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Sloane Stephens reflects on Emma Raducanu loss in Melbourne

Former world No. 3 Sloane Stephens said the first match of the year is always tough and playing Emma Raducanu didn’t help either. Stephens, now ranked at No. 67 in the world, suffered a first round exit at the Australian Open as Raducanu won 6-0 2-6 6-1.

“Well, I think obviously the first match of the year is always tough, a very tough matchup in playing Emma and I think, yeah, I didn't think that I played poorly. I think she just played better today and I think, like I said, it's the first match of the year for me, so I can't be too disappointed," Stephens said after the loss, per Sportskeeda.

Stephens quickly realized Raducanu’s plan was to be aggressive

“Well, I think she came out firing. I think we all, everyone saw after the first point she gave like a massive scream. I think it was just her game plan was to come out and be super aggressive and she did that well and obviously when you're playing someone that's playing like that they always tend to settle a bit," Stephens added.

Stephens won her lone Grand Slam title at the 2017 US Open, while Raducanu won the US Open last year. “Well, I would say I, the only same situation is that we won the US Open, but our situations are very different.

I think she is carrying a whole country and that's quite different than my win at the US Open," Stephens expressed. Stephens was asked how Raducanu was dealing with the expectation and pressure following her US Open win.

“I mean, she played me, someone she's like ranking-wise supposed to beat and, I mean, yeah, she won," Stephens said. “I mean, she hasn't been through much of anything yet, so there will be definitely some ups and downs and some crazy experiences that happen throughout her years and I think just, this is only the beginning”.