Sloane Stephens utterly confused why her ranking stagnates: “Who are all these people?”


Sloane Stephens strives to get back to the Top 20, but her efforts are not translating into statistical improvements. In a recent episode of the Changeover podcast, the 2017 US Open champion expressed genuine confusion about her stagnant ranking and questioned the rapid ascent of other players.

Chatting on the podcast, Stephens injected her trademark humor into the conversation, joking about her situation:

I would love to be back in the Top 20. I was telling my coach the other day ‘You know, my ranking hasn’t moved in, like, a year? I’m like, who are these people playing these matches? Where are they getting these points from? What’s happening? Do I not play enough? Do I need to travel some more? What do I need to do?

Is the math really not mathing? Let’s see Stephens’ results in the past 12 months:

Sloane Stephens

Indian Wells L R32 Daria Kasatkina
Austin L R16 Anastasija Sevastova
Dubai L R32 Iga Swiatek
Doha L R64 Sorana Cirstea
Australian L R32 Anna Kalinskaya
Hobart L R32 Yuan Yue
Brisbane L R32 Elise Mertens
Guadalajara LR32 Emiliana Arango
San Diego L R16 Caroline Garcia
US Open L R128 Beatriz Haddad Maia
Cleveland L QF Sara Sorribes-Tormo
Cincinatti L R16 Marketa Vondrousova
Montreal L R16 Elena Rybakina
Washington L R32 Lauren Davis
Wimbledon L R64 Donna Vekic
Roland Garros L R16 Aryna Sabalenka
Rabat L SF Lucia Bronzetti
Rome L R64 Victoria Azarenka
Saint Malo – wins the WTA 125 title, her highest opponent was world No.124
Madrid L R128 Jacqueline Cristian
Charleston L R32 Victoria Azarenka
Miami L R128 Shelby Rogers

The 31-year-old Stephens reached her career-high ranking of No.3 in July 2018. However, she fell out of the Top 20 in 2020 and has been working to regain her elite status since then. Her notable performances over the past year include winning a 125K title, reaching the fourth round at the French Open, the third round at the Australian Open, and three third-round finishes at WTA 1000-level events. However, she hasn’t had a breakthrough performance since the French Open in 2022, and her current ranking stands at No.41.

This week at the Miami Open, the tournament she won in 2018, Stephens started strong by defeating fellow Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber in the first round. She is now set to face 19th seed Sorana Cirstea of Romania in the second round.


  1. I think a lot of players are ramping up their games and conditioning to compete with hard-hitting players like Iga. And those that don’t are being left behind.


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