Stephens puts down marker on ‘favourite court in the world’

PARIS, Might 29 (Reuters) – Sloane Stephens relished each second she spent on her favorite court docket on this planet because the she cruised to a 6-0 6-4 first-round victory over former world primary Karolina Pliskova on Monday to place down an early marker on the French Open.

The 30-year-old, runner-up in Paris 5 years in the past, gave erratic Pliskova no probability on the principle Philippe-Chatrier court docket, rushing by means of the primary set in 49 minutes earlier than the Czech recovered within the second.

However she saved piling up unforced errors — 31 in whole — in addition to half a dozen double faults, giving Stephens, ranked previously as excessive as third on this planet, the prospect to race again from 4-3 down, break her twice and rattle off the subsequent three video games to seal victory.

“That is my favorite court docket on this planet and I’m tremendous blissful to be again,” stated Stephens, at present ranked thirtieth.

The American, who gained her solely Grand Slam on the 2017 U.S. Open, was additionally a quarter-finalist in Paris final yr regardless of struggling for kind.

Stephens got here into the event in bettering kind on clay after profitable her first WTA 125 occasion and reaching the semi-finals on clay in Rabat final week.

“To begin like that in your favorite court docket and favorite floor is nice. I wished to get matches below my belt this yr (earlier than the event) and I used to be feeling assured,” Stephens stated.

(This story has been corrected to vary Pliskova’s christian title to Karolina in paragraph 1)

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, enhancing by Ed Osmond

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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