LONDON-The streak is over for American tennis player Sloane Stephens. Maria Kirilenko, ranked 109, beat her 6-2, 7-6 in the first round at Wimbledon.
“I’m sad my streak is over,” Stephens told the press after the match. “Today was just a tough day.”
Stephens’ made the second week at six Grand Slams, which was the longest streak for women tennis players. She shot to international fame when she defeated Serena Williams at the 2012 Australian Open.
Kirilenko is a surprise win. She missed the first three months due to injury, which included the Australian Open. She only won one out of five matches prior to Wimbledon, but the way she played against Stephens made that difficult to believe. Kirilenko, who was ranked tenth in her career before her injury, performed smooth and steady throughout the match. Stephens fought off five match points when she was down 5-6 to force a tiebreak. But Kirilenko had the upper hand and won it on a forehand.
“She definitely played well,” Stephens said when asked about Kirilenko. “She played really consistent.”
Next up for Stephens are tournaments in America. The US Open is at the end of August in New York. Can Stephens get back into the groove at Grand Slams?
“I definitely know what to work on,” she said.
When the reporter asked for specifics she smiled. She responded, “It’s personal.”