Sloane Stephens is ready to get back to work. The tennis star hasn't competed in a tournament since September, losing in the second round of the Roland Garros. And while she is currently undergoing 14 days of hard quarantine in Australia to get ready for the Australian Open, Stephens learned that her grandfather died. This comes just weeks after the deaths of her grandmother and aunt, who passed away within weeks of each other after battling COVID-19. PopCulture.com caught up with Stephens before the tragic news and talked about her goals for 2021.
"I’m excited to get back on tour and have the opportunity to compete and work," Stephens said to PopCulture via email. "While I’m so blessed to have sponsors and outside projects to keep me busy, tennis is my day job and I missed it every week. I know this year will still have a lot of uncertainty and we’ll continue to be flexible, but I want to be consistent, healthy, and enjoy a fuller competition schedule again."
The 27-year-old wasn't able to win a tournament in 2020, but as she mentioned, there weren't as many chances to compete because of the pandemic. When Stephens was in quarantine last year, she spent the first half in Florida and built a garage gym to keep in shape.
"I fully appreciate that I am very fortunate to have that option," she said. "I also spent a lot of time on Zoom doing virtual workouts with the kids from my Sloane Stephens Foundation. I had to get creative and help guide them through at-home workouts without equipment, so all my years of training helped prep me for that new role as virtual coach."
Stephens also focused on taking care of herself during the pandemic last year. "Quarantine was one of the first times in my adult life where I was in one place for a long period of time, so I focused a lot on self-care and being kind to myself amidst so many uncertainties," she said. "Having healthy, organic meals delivered to my doorstep through Fresh n’ Lean was clutch. Fresh n’ Lean meals helped me stay ready to compete and was one less decision I had to make during such an uncertain time."
Stephens is looking to get back on top of the tennis world. She won the US Open in 2017 and was a finalist in the French Open in 2018. She was ranked No. 3 in the world after Wimbledon in 2018 and has won six WTA singles titles in her career. When asked what's the one goal she wants to achieve in her career she said: "I would love to win another Grand Slam! I want that feeling again."