Stephens Dashes Abanda’s Hopes

Abanda's hopes

Rogers Cup, Montreal

[3] Sloane Stephens (USA) vs.  [191] Francoise Abanda (CAN)

Since her run to the French Open final, Stephens has been struggling to find her consistency. She lost in the first round of Wimbledon and then in the second round of the Citi Open. Yet, this dip in form is not new; after winning the US Open last season, Stephens lost all the matches she contested for the remainder of the season. This lack of form lingered into the early part of this season where she lost in the first round of her first two tournaments played.

The era where the top players are consistent in form seems to be a thing of the past. I remember players like Steffi Graf and Monica Seles, who were dominant week after week. Even more recent, Serena Williams before maternity was a player who refused to lose, no matter what tournament she played. That sort of intensity and desire seems to be missing a lot these days in quite a few of the top players.

This dip in consistency is also apparent within a match. She totally dominated Andrea Petkovic in the first set at the Citi Open last week, only to collapse mentally in the second and third sets to lose the match. Today, she steamrolled the young Canadian in the first set, winning at love; however, inexplicably, she was broken in the second set and really had to fight to win the second set.

Despite the score, it was not as straightforward as Stephens and her team would have liked. Stephens won 6-0, 6-2; however, Abanda had numerous opportunities to make the second set closer in score. Stephens got a tad tight and Abanda played much better in second set; however, she was unable physically to sustain her quality of play in the longer rallies.

SOURCE OF IMAGE: (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images North America- Sloane Stephens and Eugenie Bouchard)

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