If you were present when Svetlana Kuznetsova won the French Open in 2009, on a sunshot day when the jam-packed Court Philippe Chatrier resembled a bowl of multi-colored gumdrops, you could be forgiven for thinking that it was... more »
Sloane Stephens of the United States discovered that nerves are natural on a big stage and shrugged them off Friday in a 6-3, 6-2 victory in the French Open over Mathilde Johansson of France.
The result catapulted her to the front ranks of American women left in the singles draw as the day began.
Stephens faltered approaching match point, facing two break points in what would have been the final game. When Johansson wrong-footed Stephens to break her serve, the American faced another test of nerves.
But Stephens had a weapon, she said, which gave her strength.