You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Fireworks recall underway over ‘burn hazard,’ could explode unexpectedly

Cincinnati tournament favorite of teen sensation Stephens


Just as she did when turning the tennis world upside down at the Australian Open in January, teen sensation Sloane Stephens said she will consider hiding an autographed tennis ball on the grounds of the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Cincinnati.

And like in Sydney, the lucky fan who finds the ball could end up with box seats in Stephens’ personal viewing section.

“Yeah, I’ll do it at any tournament that I have not a lot of people coming to,” the Plantation, Fla., native said Tuesday. “It’s a good contest. It’s really fun.”

All others can order their tickets to the Western & Southern Open now. Tickets went on sale for the Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series, including the W & S Open, on Tuesday. The Western & Southern Open runs Aug. 10-18.

The U.S. Open Series links nine ATP and WTA hard-court tournaments across the country together with a points champion, ending with the U.S. Open.

Stephens, who turns 20 on March 20, is quickly becoming a fan favorite in Cincinnati. She participated in Kids’ Day last year and reached the third round as a wild-card entry before falling to top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.

It was her victory over role model Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarterfinals that helped vault Stephens to her current ranking of No. 17 in the world. On Monday, tennis great John McEnroe called Stephens the future of U.S. women’s tennis.

She’s traded tweets with former NBA great Shaquille O’Neal and current star Dirk Nowitzki. Her favorite tweet came from Grammy winner and Springfield native John Legend, who she wants to sing at her wedding. Legend, coincidentally, shares the same first name as her late father, one-time New England Patriots running back John Stephens. Legend also tweeted he had Stephens’ football card when he was a kid.

Stephens said she attempts to shrug off her quick rise to stardom. Well, except for that tweet from Legend.

“Definitely no pressure. Just having fun and enjoying myself,”said Stephens, whose mother Sybil Smith was an All-American swimmer at Boston University. “It’s just another opinion. I’ll take it as it is and keep going.”

The Western & Southern Open is one of five events in the world (not counting the Grand Slams) that hold an ATP Masters 1000 event and a Premier 5 WTA event the same week at the same venue. The top 20 men’s players in the world and 19 of the top 20 women’s players committed to the 2012 tournament.

Stephens, who calls the W&S Open her favorite tournament outside of the Grand Slams, offered her best sales pitch to promote the August event.

“That’s easy. All the top players play there. It’s a beautiful event and run so well,” Stephens said. “It’s an awesome event and I’ll be there, of course, and that’s why you should buy tickets.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Reds win longball battle versus Brewers
Reds win longball battle versus Brewers

Billy Hamilton does not have a home-run trot. He flew around the bases after lining the ball to right-center field. He didn’t slow as he rounded third. He didn’t pause as he crossed home plate. Hamilton does everything fast, and his solo shot in the first inning Tuesday set the tone for the Cincinnati Reds in an 8-6 victory against the...
Cozart could return as soon as Wednesday for Reds
Cozart could return as soon as Wednesday for Reds

More often than not this season, Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price spends a good chunk of his pregame meeting with the media talking about injuries, which is probably only slightly more enjoyable for him than talking about losing. The Reds have dealt with more than their fare share of injuries in 2017, and that’s a big reason their season has...
Reds starter Finnegan heartbroken after latest injury
Reds starter Finnegan heartbroken after latest injury

All of Brandon Finnegan’s hard work in his quest to return to the mound for the Cincinnati Reds resulted in four innings — officially three because he didn’t record an out in the fourth. Finnegan left the game Monday in St. Louis after 58 pitches. He allowed three earned runs on three hits. He walked four. The Reds lost 8-2 to the...
Dayton locks up men’s basketball coaching staff
Dayton locks up men’s basketball coaching staff

 There was a little more than standard news coming out of Dayton’s men’s basketball Monday, as the Flyers finalized new head coach Anthony Grant’s hires of Devin Davis, Casey Cathrall and Andy Farrell to flesh out his staff. A highlight video from last season has also gone public. Grant played cards of familiarity with two of...
Wayne football: Top 7 players in Warriors high school program history
Wayne football: Top 7 players in Warriors high school program history

Here’s who we consider the all-time seven best football players at Wayne High School. Have something to say about this alphabetical list? Email your comments to sports@coxohio.com. 1. Will Allen, DB, 2000 grad: OSU All-American; two key plays during 2002 national championship season were INT that secured 14-9 defeat of Michigan and a tackle that...
More Stories