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Sloane Stephens Loses in First Round of 2013 Citi Open

Sports SloanStephens 300x219 Sloane Stephens Loses in First Round of 2013 Citi Open

Sloane Stephens

By Benjamin Standig

Coaches often tell players to practice the way you play.

That strategy didn’t work out for Sloane Stephens.

Playing her first match since Wimbledon, the No. 2-seeded Stephens fell to Olga Puchkova 7-5, 6-3 in the first round of the Citi Open.

“Leading up, I didn’t practice that great and I just wasn’t feeling the ball out there,” said Stephens, who lost to eventual Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli in the quarterfinals on July 2.

“Sometimes you have days like that and it’s unfortunate that it came today.”

The struggles started early for the 15th-ranked Stephens, particularly with her service game.

The highest-ranked American behind Serena Williams, Stephens was broken three times in each set by the unseeded and 88th-ranked Russian.

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