Tennis: Sloane Stephens' run ends at Mercury Insurance Open
Sloane Stephens, the 18-year-old from Los Angeles who earned loud applause from the crowd at the La Costa Resort and Spa tennis courts in Carlsbad on Friday afternoon, said her inexperience showed when her quarterfinal match against second-seeded Andrea Petkovic of Germany suddenly disappeared from her reach. Stephens, playing in her first WTA Tour-level quarterfinal, lost to Petkovic 6-2, 6-1.
Stephens, ranked 131st in the world and playing mostly on the challenger circuit, wished she could have back a particularly poorly conceived cross-court forehand in the first set when she had her serve broken. By the end of 1 hour, six-minute match, Stephens said she was happy to have not lost the second set 6-0 and that she was still pleased with her week.
A pair of new shoes is on her to-do list now. If she can find a pair with a good price on the internet, it will be a pair of Christian Louboutins. Stephens has excellent taste in shoes.
If she could replay one point, Stephens said, it would have been in that sixth game of the first set when she had her serve broken.
"We had a really long point. There was a forehand in the middle of the court I hit cross-court. I should have hit it down the line and come in, but I didn't," Stephens said. "I hit it back cross-court. She hit down the line, smacked it pretty good. I didn't get there. That point was a really long point. I really wish I would have won that point because it would have made things a lot easier.
"I'm not upset. I had a pretty good week, considering I haven't won many matches. My first quarterfinal of a WTA. So I'm not disappointed at all."
-- Diane Pucin
Photo: Sloane Stephens stretches for a backhand return during her quarterfinal match against Andrea Petkovic on Friday in the Mercury Insurance Open. Credit: Jeff Gross / Getty Images