Friday, January 9, 2015

Saviano to begin coaching Stephens next week

Sloane Stephens will begin working with Nick Saviano
next week in Hobart. 2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   It didn't take long for Nick Saviano to find another promising young woman to coach.
   The 58-year-old former Stanford All-American will begin working with Sloane Stephens next week in Hobart, reported recently.
   Saviano announced in late November that he and Canadian Eugenie Bouchard had split after eight years.
   It was a surprising development, considering that Bouchard, who will turn 21 next month, reached her first Grand Slam final (Wimbledon) and cracked the top 10 in the world for the first time last year.
   Stephens, a 21-year-old American, slumped last year after reaching the semifinals of the 2013 Australian Open and climbing to a career-high No. 11 in October of that year. A right-hander with a two-handed backhand, she struggled with a left wrist injury.
   Stephens worked with Paul Annacone, the former coach of Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, for eight months and briefly with Thomas Hogstedt, the ex-coach of Maria Sharapova, Li Na and Caroline Wozniacki.
   Ranked No. 35, Stephens returned to the circuit for the first time since mid-September in this week's ASB Classic in Auckland. Seeded sixth, she lost to 5-foot-2 (1.57-meter) countrywoman Lauren Davis 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the second round.

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