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Friday, January 25, 2013
My main goal: Keep the momentum going

By Sloane Stephens

Sloane Stephens
Sloane Stephens advanced to her first Grand Slam semifinal -- now to Louis Vuitton to celebrate.

I thought my Aussie Open semifinal against Vika was a good match, close at times, 1 and 4. It was a bit stressful, but it was OK. I was definitely nervous, but that just comes with the territory. I was focused on executing things that I've been working on with my coach, David, such as coming into the net a bit more. Before the match, he gave me the same advice: "Have fun, play your game, see you later." Afterwards he said: "You did great ... let's go home!"

It's been such an amazing fortnight, reaching the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the first time. The highlight has to be my win over Serena, one of the greatest players ever and a hero to so many girls like me. I think the main thing I've learned from the experience is to just play within yourself and not think about all the other things that are going on around you. Have fun, enjoy it, keep your same routine and go out and do your thing. I'm very, very, very proud of myself. I'm definitely giving myself a pat on the back.

My main goal now is just to keep the momentum and good energy going. I've had a great month here in Australia and won a ton of matches (reaching the quarters in Brisbane and semis in Hobart). I've lost to Serena, who went on to win in Brisbane, and Elena Vesnina, who won the Hobart title, and now Vika, the world No. 1. Obviously I'm playing good tennis right now and having fun out there, so I want to keep enjoying it.

The only downside is I didn't make it to the aquarium or the zoo here in Melbourne. Now I'm under pressure because I told all my friends I was going to go, so they keep asking me for pictures! But I'm determined to go to Louis Vuitton before I leave this city. The store is right near the hotel, so I think the chances are good. I've got my eye on a white handbag and a travel bag as well. So we'll see!