The 2024 Australian Open is officially underway, and with it the year’s Grand Slam season has begun. The professional tennis season, which takes place throughout the calendar year, gets off to a quick start with the early major, which begins in mid-January in Melbourne each year.
Among the American players back on the court and gearing up for a strong season is 30-year-old Sloane Stephens, the one-time Grand Slam champion. She started off on a good foot, winning her Jan. 15 first-round match against Australian professional Olivia Gadecki in straight sets.
“All the feels 🏾 @australianopen,” she wrote in an Instagram post commemorating the win. Between impressive practice videos and the two tournament appearances she made prior to taking the court at the Australian Open, Stephens has shown herself ready to compete this year. And her commanding win in the first round of the major has only made her focus that much more clear.
Stephens will return to the court tomorrow, Jan. 17, to take on the No. 14 seed, Russian pro Daria Kasatkina. The Florida native’s best finish at the tournament came with a semifinal loss in 2013. This year, she’ll hope for another deep run in the tournament, or better yet, her first major win since hoisting her 2017 U.S. Open trophy.
The first round of the tournament also saw wins from Americans Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff, the 19-year-old standout who took home the U.S. Open trophy this past September. The second round will kick off at 7 p.m. EST this evening.