The week in tennis: Stephens wins clay-court title, and questions surround Nadal and Djokovic

Source: ESPN

While speaking to the media during a news conference in Miami last month, Sloane Stephens admitted she didn’t know how much longer she would be playing professional tennis. The 31-year-old said she still had goals she wanted to achieve but spoke about her career largely in the past tense.

But on Sunday, in the final at the inaugural WTA 250 Open Capfinances Rouen Metropole in France, Stephens proved she’s far from done just yet.

The 2017 US Open champion won the eighth title of her career, and first in over two years, with a 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 victory over Magda Linette. It capped off an extraordinary week that saw her defeat former top-10 players Caroline Garcia and Karolina Pliskova. While she had largely cruised into the final — dropping just one set in four matches — she had to dig deep and needed six match points to pull off the comeback against Linette. Ultimately, she got the job done in two hours and 10 minutes.

While she has long been known for her prowess on the surface and reached the French Open final in 2018, it marked Stephens’ first title on the red clay and first indoors.

“Coming here was kind of a last-minute decision, so I’m really happy to be through and win another title,” Stephens said. “It’s my first title indoors, I think, so that’s really nice and really cool, and just a really nice way to start off the clay-court swing.”

THE AUTHOR: D’Arcy Maine

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