Stephens: I’m kind of happy all the time


Originally published on: 01/06/12 00:00

Stephens is mastering a surface that has regularly caught out her fellow Americans at Roland Garros in the past. On Friday, she cruised into the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time after defeating Mathilde Johansson 6-3 6-2, surpassing her career-best third round effort at the US Open last year. We caught up with the rising teen earlier this season…

Do you set yourself goals or do you just get your head down, play tournaments and see where you get to?
I play all the tournaments in the world but my only goal [for this year] is to stay healthy so I can play every tournament on the WTA schedule. Injury is not fun but it’s definitely something you can control sometimes, so I want to be a control freak and try not to get injured. My goal for 2012 is to stay healthy the whole year and avoid injuries and things like that.

You come from a sporty family don’t you?
Yeah, definitely. My Mom’s a swimmer and my Dad (*who passed away in 2009) played in the NFL. My uncles are all golfers and my brother plays baseball and golf.

I bet Thanksgivings are really competitive
Yeah they are. At Christmas a couple of years ago my Uncles had a foot race in the back yard of my Grandparents house. They’re all like 50 so you can imagine how that looked!

When are you happiest? You’re very smiley and you tweet about smiling!
I’m kind of happy all the time because it’s not fun when you’re not happy. It’s just not fun. You don’t really get the best out of anything when you’re sad. So I just try to enjoy myself at all times.

You also tweet quite a lot of philosophical sayings. Where do you find them?
Oh, everywhere, I don’t even know. Things people have told me, friends sending them to me, Uncles, Aunts, you know, just weird stuff.

If there was one shot from any player you could add to your game, what would you have?
You know how Monfils dives for everything? How he slides all over the court? Well it’s not really a shot but I think that is so cool. I don’t know why.

You just said you wanted to stay healthy!
Yeah, it’s just asking for disaster! But yeah it’s fun, I really like that, but that’s not really a shot. Ok, so I’m thinking. I’m going with… oh shoot, Karlovic’s serve!


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.