‘Tennis is a funky sport’ – Stephens eager for Cincinnati upswing after ‘bumpy’ season

“It’s been a bumpy season, to say the least, and just being home is more comfortable, easier for me. I’m just trying to manage, but I’m happy to be home. It’s a lot easier than to be in Europe, struggling.”

It was in Europe that she first paired with Sven Groeneveld, longtime coach to five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova, and together, the two enjoyed immediate success, with Stephens reaching the Mutua Madrid Open semifinals. 

With her best tennis seemingly within her grasp, the American has found perspective on what could have been a frustrating follow-up to a season that saw her win the Miami Open, and finish runner-up at Roland Garros and the WTA Finals.

“Tennis is a funky sport. One week can be whatever and then next week you win a Premier and it’s like, ‘OK, everything’s great again,’ and it’s like none of that ever happened. Managing the downs and being ready to have that up again is most important, but managing a bumpy season has been the craziest part of this year.”