12 months ago Sloane Stephens was a runner-up in Paris.
Her tennis at the back end of 2017 and into 2018 was pretty scary, when Sloane came to play you knew a relentless approach was in front of you.
At the back end of 2018 it was announced that herself and her coach Kamau Murray had split which was a massive shock and now the American works with Monica Puig.
Sloane went through a period where she was coach-less but admitted it wasn’t working out for her. She made the decision before Madrid and hired former coach of Maria Sharapova in Sven Groenfeld.
Her run in Madrid was very good before falling to eventual winner Kiki Bertens but her run in Rome ended in round one against the in-form Johanna Konta who defeated the American from a set down.
During that however there was an announcement on social media…
Sloane had announced that her and her boyfriend who plays for Toronto and use to play in England at Sunderland Jozy Altidore have got engaged!
If you follow Sloane on social media you will know she is also a big fan of Game of Thrones but as many she also said she was left underwhelmed by the ending now she is in Paris hoping to improve on her final appearance last year.
On her day it is like watching a machine play. The way she moves on a court and the immaculate accuracy and power the ground strokes is scary to watch. It can be hit and miss though and this year it just hasn’t happened for her before Madrid and that run was what she needed.
Last year she was up a set and a break in the final against Simona Halep before the then world number one fought to win her first major and in Singapore she led Elina Svitolina by a set in the final of the WTA Finals before falling once again in three.
Is Sloane a contender? I definitely think so, even if we take away that turning up and surprising us which she has done over the last couple of years her game itself is still one of the most complete and will be surprised if she isn’t still in the conversation come the quarter finals.