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By Chris Oddo

Sloane Stephens French Open After her 6-2, 6-1 victory over Italian Camila Giorgi this afternoon, Sloane Stephens got to waxing nostalgic about Rafael Nadal in the pressroom. "I just read it on Twitter," Stephens said of the news of Nadal's withdrawal from the 2012 US Open. "I'm devastated. This is so sad."

The conversation quickly turned humorous, however, when Stephens was asked by a reporter what it's like when Rafa isn't in the locker room at a Grand Slam. "I'm not sure because I'm not in his locker room," quipped the 19-year-old World No. 49.

Stephens, never one to shy away from expressing herself on topics near and dear to her heart, then went on to enlighten reporters on her true feelings for the Spaniard. "I love Rafa. so I love seeing him at tournaments," she said.  "I get starstruck when I see him. I'm like, Oh, my God I wish I could touch him.    

"It will be sad with him not there, obviously.  I mean, he's such an amazing player.  I just kind of  I like seeing him practice.  He's on the P1 through 5 [practice courts at the US Open] or whatever and he's always on the first court so everyone can see. I like eating my lunch and watching him.  I'm kind of bummed he won't be there."

Stephens also went on to say she’s still looking for a mixed doubles partner for the US Open, now that Nadal is out of the picture. “Rafa, if he played doubles or mixed doubles that would be good.  But it's kind of tough when he's not even playing singles.  It's going to be a rough one.  I'm still looking.  Anyone knows of anyone who is looking for a mixed doubles partner, I'm your girl.”

Reporters recommended Brian Baker, who Sloane has recently struck up a friendship with. “That would be a good  that's actually  well, I don't know if that would be good because I'm like in love with him, so that would be kind of awkward.  I think he knows that, so that makes it even more weird.”

Stephens, a wildcard in Cincinnati, will take on top-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the third round.

(Photo Credit: Getty)

 

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