REPORTING FROM THE ALL ENGLAND CLUB IN WIMBLEDON
The learning curve is painful and cruel, and you can’t avoid it. It’s as if you’re driving down the road and your car automatically searches out and finds every last bump and pothole, even cliff.
For Sloane Stephens, American tennis hopeful, the problem is that you don’t know for sure which bumps you’ll eventually figure out how to clear easily and which ones you never will. Which ones will you learn from and which ones will define you.
Stephens ran off the cliff Tuesday at Wimbledon. She was playing brilliantly and beautifully, and then she was duped for the second time in three majors by someone pulling a veteran’s dirty trick on her. She lost 6-4, 7-5 to Marion Bartoli in the quarterfinals.
“I am disappointed in myself because I know I probably could have given a little bit more,” Stephens said. “You have to keep learning from it and keep moving forward.”
If you thought this tournament was a torch-passing from Serena Williams to Stephens, then take a deep breath and sit down for a minute.
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