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Evert: Stephens Lacks Passion to Win Multiple Majors

Chrissie Evert respects Sloane Stephens' off-court charity work.

The former world No. 1 believes Stephens' on-court philanthropy will prevent her from reaching the top spot—she gives away too many points.

Evert: 20 Australian Open Title Contenders

In a conference call with the media to promote ESPN’s first-to-last ball Australian Open coverage, which begins on Sunday at 7 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN2, Evert said Stephens suffers from a shortage of passion to reach the top spot and win more majors.

"I question whether she has a burning desire to win more Grand Slams or to be No. 1 in the world," Evert told the media. "I don't see that burning desire as much as I see it with other players. I'm sure that's just my opinion, maybe I'm wrong, but that's what I'm seeing with her." 

A year ago, Stephens rebounded from foot surgery and a ranking that plummeted to No. 957, before roaring through the US Open field to her first career Grand Slam title.

The 24-year-old Stephens has not won a match since Flushing Meadows with her biggest moment since coming when she announced she'd signed with Nike.

Stephens managed just three games in her Sydney International opening-round loss to Camila Giorgi and admitted she feels "burned out" after playing into the fall on the US Fed Cup team that beat Belarus to win the Fed Cup championship.

At the 2013 Australian Open, Stephens upset Serena Williams en route to the quarterfinals. However, she's suffered back-to-back opening-round Melbourne losses in each of the last two years.

Growing pains can accompany almost any surprise Slam champion, Evert asserts, and believes Stephens may be stressed after her title run or simply lack the fervor and ruthlessness to reproduce the magic of Flushing Meadows.

"This is the jinx that any surprise winner of a Grand Slam seems to have had," Evert said. "If you look at past history, you look at all the players that have won it for the first time, who weren't expected to win it, it's sort of like it changes your whole life. I think she's had a lot more demands.

"She's been doing more press, making more appearances, doing a lot of charity work, which I have to compliment her for. She does have a program in Compton, California. She helps a lot of kids there. That plus the fact she has been injured, her body hasn't been 100 percent, I think it's taken a toll. I don't think Sloane is a real intense kind of player anyway. I think she's kind of a relaxed player when she goes out there."

Photo credit: US Open Facebook