Staff Writer, Kylah Crooks
Over the weekend Sloane Stephens celebrated her first win in the U.S Open. She beat Madison keys 6-3, 6-0 which gave her the great win for the U.S. Open. This was a really big win for Sloane Stephens, not because she won a Grand Slam, but because she just recovered from a foot injury back in January.
After recovering from her foot surgery and receiving her first Grand Slam title, Stephens will also enjoy her $3.7 million check she received from an official post match. During an interview after her match, a reporter asked Stephens if her win motivated her to continue playing to win another title, Stephens replied by saying “Of course girl- did you see the check that that lady handed me? Man, if that doesn’t make you want to play tennis, I don’t know what will.”
Unknowingly, Sloane Stephens has become the new face of tennis. Before winning the Grand Slam title, she was ranking No. 957 now with the title she is ranking N0. 17. Stephens explains that after winning, it hasn’t sunk in that she is the U.S. Champion she explains, “It hasn’t sunk in yet,” Stephens said in her press conference, “but hopefully in a little while once I, like, am able to lay down and relax and think about it, I’ll realize that I really am the US Open champion.” Before winning the U.S. Open, Stephens was in a rough spot. Like stated previously, she was recovering from a foot surgery back in January. This surgery didn’t stop Stephens from wanting to compete in the U.S. Open.
Back in April, Sloane was unable to walk when she called her Coach Kamau Murray explaining that she was ready to start practicing. Murray was surprised at the fact that Stephens was ready to begin practicing. They began practicing at the U.C.L.A. campus courts in May. Due to Stephens just learning how to walk Murray had her sitting on a wooden table with her racquet hitting balls. Neither Stephens or Murray would of thought she would win the Grand Slam title. For Stephens being the lowest ranked player to win the women’s title she really came a long way. Stephens was ecstatic to win the U.S. Open she explains “One day I’m going to, like, be able to show my kids that I won the U.S. Open,” Stephens said with the trophy next to her. “Like how many people can say that? Not many, and they already engraved my name on the locker. Like, hello. This is awesome.”
Senior, Ugonna Ezuma-Igwe says, “I think it’s amazing how she went from unknown to #17. I love that she’s representing black females in a positive way.” Madison Cater also said, “As a person who started tennis at an old age, an individual like Sloane Stephens is truly inspiring. She had people tell her she would never mount to anything, matter of fact, her number ranking is discouraging on its own. Along with that, during this year she went from barely being able to walk, to playing play defense while in a sprint, Sloane inspires to never give up on my aspirations no matter how far fetched they may seem at the time.” Stephens has inspired many girls not to give up in pursuit of their dreams.
Ohikuare, J., Tennis Champion Sloane Stephens US Prize Money Winner, Entertainment • Living • News • Work & Money, Ohikuare, W. B., & Images., P. C. (n.d.). U.S. Open Winner Sloane Stephens’ Reaction To Prize Money Is On Point. Retrieved September 12, 2017, from http://www.refinery29.com/2017/09/171704/sloane-stephens-us-open-winner
Clarey, C. (2017, September 09). Sloane Stephens Beats Madison Keys to Claim U.S. Open Title. Retrieved September 13, 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/09/sports/tennis/us-open-womens-final-madison-keys-sloane-stephens.html