(January 19, 2013) Before a very pro-Robson crowd, American Sloane Stephens won the battle of the only two teenagers left in the women’s draw on Saturday at the Australian Open. The 19-year 29th seed defeated Great Britain’s Laura Robson 18, 7-5, 6-3 in one hour and 49 minutes.
Stephens ran out to a 4-0 first set lead knocking winners past Robson at will. Robson won the next four games to make it eve. In the fifth game, Robson was treated for a shoulder issue.
“I felt something in my shoulder yesterday, but we still don’t know what it is because I haven’t had time to see the doctor or anything yet,” Robson said.
The medical time out seemed to deflate Stephens’ momentum as her attacking game turned into a passive retrieving one. Robson turned into the aggressor.
Stephens had two set points on Robson’s serve at 5-4 but could not covert. The American did convert at 6-5 when Robson fired a backhand wide.
Serving for the match at 7-5, 5-3, Stephens had to save two break points before sealing the victory.
“It was super intense” Stephens said describing the match. “I think there wasn’t a point where there wasn’t something like, Oh, my goodness, this is intense. I was up like 4‑0, 4‑All. We had some pretty intense games. That’s what it’s about, getting out there and getting after it.”
“Laura and I are good friends. She’s obviously a good player. We’re going to have a rivalry, all that good stuff.”
“ I’m sure I’ll play Sloane a lot in the future. I’m sure after today she’s going to be top 20, Robson said. “So good for her.”
Stephens, who also beat Robson in Hobart last week, will play either 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm or Bojana Jovanovski for a place in the quarterfinals..
“Date, that’s funny, because they were saying she could be my mom, which is like kind of weird, “ Stephens said of potentially playing Date-Krumm. “It would be like playing one of my mom’s friends, which is kind of, hmm, not so fun.
“But, yeah, I have seen her a couple of times, Jovanovski. Sort of kind of the same age as me. She’s a little bit older.”
“Just another match. Just got to go out and play my game.”