Sloane Stephens was supposed to be the heir to retired tennis legend Serena Williams. In 2013, Stephens defeated Serena in the quarter-final of the Australian Open and the American tennis press couldn’t help but hope that she’ll take over the mantle.
After a good start to her career, Stephens hasn’t been able to keep up with the top players. What happened to Sloane Stephens?
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Sloane Stephens’s Childhood
Sloane was born into an athletic family. Her father was a National Football League (NFL) running back, and her mother was a swimmer.
She also played tennis casually at the Sierra Sports and Racquet Club, which is how Slaone began playing. While playing there, former player Francisco Gonzalez advised her to do more training.
Sloane attended the Evert Tennis Academy and then transferred to the Nick Saviano High-Performance Academy.
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Junior Tennis Career
Like many other players, Sloane Stephens started playing competitive tennis at the junior level. Playing in the U.S. Open doubles final with Mallory Burdette was a highlight moment of her budding career.
In 2009, the right-handed tennis player continued with her winning form. She won the USTA International Spring Championship and the Grade A Italian Open. The following year, Stephens got to the semifinals of the French Open and quarterfinals at Wimbledon. This helped her to get to number 5 in the junior rankings.
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In 2008, Sloane Stephens played her first Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) match at the Miami Open. She then received a wildcard to play in the U.S. Open for three years (2008, 2009, 2010).
In 2009, she turned professional and made her WTA debut at Indian Wells. She didn’t make any major wins but improved her rankings from 802 to 198.
Her first professional singles title came at the Camparini Gioielli Cup. She got a wildcard entry into the U.S. Open and was knocked out in the third round. This saw Sloane Stephens enter the top 100.
Her performances improved, and Sloane Stephens continued to rise in the rankings. She won a number of tournaments on tour before her first grand slam win.
In 2017, she won the U.S. Open and backed claims that she could be one of the best tennis players. In 2018, she played in the final of the French Open but lost to Madison Keys.
Sloane Stephens got to world number 3, the highest ranking of her career.
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Unfortunately, Sloane couldn’t keep the momentum to stay at the top. Her inconsistent form saw her lose at major tournaments. Also, injuries kept her out. To date, she’s working on her comeback but is still a former shadow of herself.
Whether Sloane Stephens will ever reach the top again, it’s something the tennis world is yet to see.
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