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What tennis fans have waited for all year: U.S. star Sloane Stephens says she’s ready for Wimbledon

Sloane Stephens is back and ready for Wimbledon.

For tennis fans, that couldn’t be better news, as the American star, who is most famous for upsetting Serena Williams at the 2013 Australian Open, hasn’t played since withdrawing from Cincinnati nine months ago with a foot injury.

Stephens injured her left foot in a three-set thriller against Svetlana Kuznetsova at Wimbledon last year and was forced off the tour after the Rio Olympic Games—which took place a few weeks later. She then had surgery in February.

But with this year’s Wimbledon tournament—the third Grand Slam event of the year—looming, Stephens said she’s excited to get back out on the courts.

“I’m excited to get back out there, I obviously haven’t played in nine months so I’m really looking forward to Wimbledon and just getting going again,” Stephens told Excelle Sports on a conference call. “I don’t expect anything great in the first go around or the second or third go around.

“I’m going to have to be patient and just work my way back into it but if a good result comes early, then that’s icing on the cake. But there’s no expectations from the jump.”

Prior to injuring her foot, Stephens won the ASB Classic, the Abierto Mexicano Telcel and the Volvo Car Open last year.

After Wimbledon—which begins July 3—the 24-year-old American will head back to the States to play in her second season with the Philadelphia Freedoms of World TeamTennis. She said that between Wimbledon and the World TeamTennis schedule, she is hoping to get lots of matches under her belt again before the end of the year.

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Stephens will lead Philadelphia for 11 regular-season matches. After that, the top two teams will then face each other in the Final in California. The Freedoms, which also feature Taylor Townsend, are seeking their first championship since 2006.

“With the way the World TeamTennis schedule falls this year, it’s a good way for me to get back and play a lot of matches so I’m really looking forward to it,” Stephens said. “I’ve had a long time to prepare and get my schedule together but I’ve got to make sure I really take care of my body and focus on recovery.”

Stephens first made her name on the World TeamTennis tour, when she upset Venus Williams during her rookie season in 2009.

In addition to Stephens, other marquee players that will be competing in World TeamTennis this year include Maria Sharapova of the Orange County Breakers, Venus Williams and Martina Hingis of the Washington Kastles and Genie Bouchard of the New York Empire.

The World Team Tennis season begins July 16.

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