Teenager Stephens realizes last eight is "pretty cool"
By Greg Stutchbury
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Sloane Stephens had a "pretty cool" realization after she beat Bojana Jovanovski on Monday, she's going to become a member of the Australian Open's "last eight club".
The club is an actual players' lounge, but Stephens was referring to a prominent corridor at Melbourne Park where the portraits of the previous year's quarter-finalists are hung.
"Now my picture's going to be on that thing when you first walk in," Stephens said of the corridor that leads to the player transport hub. "Like, you know, that thing, I don't know what they call that, but that's pretty cool."
The 19-year-old American's first grand slam quarter-final took some achievement against the 21-year-old Serb. After Stephens raced through the first set in 25 minutes, Jovanovski obviously felt she had nothing to lose.
She banged away from both wings and hit unorthodox shots that bamboozled the 29th-seed at Melbourne Park and it took a realization the match was getting away from Stephens that forced the American to settle down.
"She brought it full force second, third set," Stephens said. "I was thinking, 'Oh, my God, this is for the quarters of a grand slam and I'm completely just like not here right now'. I was like, 'I need to refocus'.
"I think mentally it was pretty tough... I was playing my own self, I guess you could say. But I managed to get through, so that was good."
OLD HEAD Continued...