Experience trumps rank

032015 Sloane StephensMiami Open presented by Itau

[CR18] Madison Keys (USA) vs. [CR45] Sloane Stephens (USA)

It was one of those highly anticipated matches and it featured two young Americans, future stars of tennis.  Keys is ranked higher; however, there was no evidence of that today as she misfired repeatedly. Surprisingly, Stephens was the calmer of the two, showing she was the more seasoned player. She was more focused and executed her shots better, not troubled by the pressure of the occasion. In contrast, Keys was too impatient and her footwork was off, exhibiting signs of tension.  Perhaps Keys was overwhelmed by the expectations.

Keys could not reset, instead of pulling back on her shots and working the points patiently, she went for more.  Her inability to change strategy mid-match and her persistent sloppy play were indications of her lack of confidence in her game.  Her attitude in the second set was also quite troubling as she seemed to lose interest in the match when things got a bit rocky. Her unwillingness to fight for this victory was unexpected as she is quite capable of competing at a higher level than she did today. Stephens benefitted from her experience on tour and despite a slight lapse in concentration she was able to serve out the match 6-4, 6-2.

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