Sloane Stephens made a name for herself when she defeated Serena Williams in the 2013 Australian Open. However, she became a star and household name when she won the US Open in 2017. PopCulture.com caught up with Stephens who explained why winning the US Open meant so much to her.
"Winning the US Open was incredible and winning it as an American player was even more special," she said to PopCulture via email. "It felt like a dream, and so much went into that moment and lifting that trophy. I was away from the game for 11 months after foot surgery and didn’t know when I would be back. I was ranked 957 when I started playing again that summer, and went into the US Open ranked 83." Because of her win of the US Open after battling a foot injury, Stephens won WTA Comeback Player of the year in 2017.
"I was so excited to get back out there, and my whole team was focused on my health and working my way back through each point, which turned into each game, which turned into each match," Stephens continued. "To compete in the finals against Madison [Keys], who is one of my best friends on tour, was such a moment for both of us and for our country."
In her career, Stephens has had success at all four grand slam tournaments. She reached the finals at the French Open in 2018 while making it to the semifinals at the Australian Open and quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 2013. And while she loves playing in all four events, the US Open stands out for obvious reasons.
"I have incredible memories in New York from winning the US Open there, and I absolutely love Roland Garros," Stephens said. "Paris is just gorgeous and I look forward to playing each year and soaking it all in."
Stephens is gearing up for the 2021 Australian Open and said her goal is to win another grand slam before her career comes to an end. But when she is done with tennis, the 27-year old will remain busy with various projects.
"I definitely plan on playing for a while longer and I’m focused on training to do so," she revealed. "I recently became a strategic investor in Quantum Energy Squares, a plant-based energy bar. I see myself continuing to be a strategic investor/advisor for companies I believe in and teams that drive purposeful market change, especially in the underfunded and underrepresented WOC space. I’m also incredibly proud of the Sloane Stephens Foundation and passionate about continuing to grow our tennis and education work, which is currently in 25 schools in Compton, California."