Sloane Stephens
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Sloane Stephens
Stephens WM17 (7) (35347283294).jpg
Country (sports)  United States[1]
Residence Coral Springs, Florida,[1] U.S.
Born (1993-03-20) March 20, 1993 (age 25)[1]
Plantation, Florida,[1] U.S.
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.7 m)[1]
Turned pro 2010[2]
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Coach Kamau Murray (2015-)
Prize money US$11,234,132
Official website
Career record 253-167 (60.24%)
Career titles 6 WTA, 1 ITF
Highest ranking No. 4 (June 11, 2018)
Current ranking No. 4 (June 11, 2018)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open SF (2013)
French Open F (2018)
Wimbledon QF (2013)
US Open W (2017)
Other tournaments
Olympic Games 1R (2016)
Career record 38-50 (43.18%)
Career titles 0 WTA, 1 ITF
Highest ranking No. 94 (October 24, 2011)
Current ranking No. 126 (June 11, 2018)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open 1R (2012)
French Open 1R (2012, 2013, 2014)
Wimbledon 2R (2017)
US Open 1R (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2017)
Mixed doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open 2R (2016)
Wimbledon 1R (2017)
US Open 2R (2008, 2012)
Team competitions
Fed Cup W (2017)
Record 5-5
Last updated on: April 23, 2018.

Sloane Stephens (born March 20, 1993) is an American professional tennis player. She won the 2017 US Open, becoming the lowest ranked woman (83rd) to ever win the title and the first American woman apart from the Williams sisters to win a Grand Slam since Jennifer Capriati in 2002.

Stephens was the runner-up of the 2018 French Open and has also reached the semifinals of the 2013 Australian Open and the quarterfinals of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships. She has won six career WTA singles titles and is currently ranked a career-high World No. 4. In 2017, Stephens was awarded WTA Comeback Player of the Year following her comeback from foot surgery.

Early life and background

Stephens was born on March 20, 1993 in Plantation, Florida to Sybil Smith and John Stephens, both of whom were accomplished athletes. Her mother was the first African-American woman to be named a first-team All-American swimmer in Division I history. She is enshrined in the Boston University Athletic Hall of Fame and recognized as the greatest swimmer in the history of the university.[3] Stephens's father was a Pro Bowl running back for the New England Patriots in the National Football League.[4] Pro Football Hall of Famer Raymond Berry regarded him as the best athlete he had ever seen.[5]

Smith left Stephens's father when she was a baby after his multiple arrests in 1994. Stephens was raised by her mother and her stepfather, Sheldon Farrell, who married Smith in 1997 and worked as a business consultant.[6] She has a younger stepbrother, Shawn Farrell, who played baseball and football at Notre Dame High School outside of Los Angeles. Stephens did not talk with her biological father until she was 13 years old, when he expressed interest in getting to know her after being diagnosed with degenerative bone disease. Even though they only met a few times in person, the two of them had a good relationship. Stephens's stepfather passed away from cancer in 2007, while her biological father died in a car crash in 2009.[7][8]

Stephens moved to her mother's hometown of Fresno in California at the age of two.[9] She started playing tennis at the age of nine at the Sierra Sport and Racquet Club, a tennis facility located across the street from her house where her stepfather regularly played and her mother was taking lessons. Former professional Francisco González, the head tennis pro at the club, recognized Stephens's ability in spite of her limited experience and recommended her to pursue more rigorous training opportunities.[10][11][12] Two years after she started playing tennis, Stephens relocated to Boca Raton in Florida. She began training at the Evert Tennis Academy founded by John Evert and also run by his sister, International Tennis Hall of Famer Chris Evert. The following year at age 12, Stephens switched to the Nick Saviano High Performance Tennis Academy, and began being homeschooled online.[13] After her stepfather's death, Stephens and her family moved back to their hometown of Fresno where her grandparents and other members of her mother's family still lived.[14]

Junior career

Stephens at the 2009 US Open

Stephens began competing in low-level events on the ITF Junior Circuit in 2006 at the age of 13.[15] Her first breakthrough result came at the US Open in 2008, where she reached her first doubles final at a Grand Slam with Mallory Burdette.[16] She then finished the year with a semifinal appearance at the high-level Orange Bowl tournament, a Grade A event.[17]

Stephens began 2009 by winning her first two tournaments of the year, the Grade 1 USTA International Spring Championships and the Grade A Italian Open.[18][19] Following these titles, she only played in the remaining junior grand slam events in 2009 and 2010, while also skipping the Australian Open.[15]

At the French Open, Stephens qualified for the main draw and extended her main draw win streak to 16 matches in a row to start the season before losing as a qualifier to French junior Kristina Mladenovic in the semifinals.[20] Mladenovic ended up winning the tournament, and would also defeat Stephens in their next encounter at the Wimbledon quarterfinals.[21] During the US Open, Stephens left New York after her first match to attend her biological father's funeral in Louisiana. She returned to play and win her next match, but ultimately lost in the third round.[4][22]

In 2010, Stephens partnered with Tímea Babos to win the doubles title at all three Grand Slams in which they participated. They became just the second pair of girls to win three Grand Slam doubles titles in one season after Corina Morariu and Ludmila Varmu?ová in 1995. Stephens also reached at least the quarterfinals in each of the singles events. Her best singles result that year was a second career Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open, where she lost to Daria Gavrilova in a third set tiebreak.[23]

Professional career

2007-2009: Tour debut

Stephens played her first professional events on the ITF Women's Circuit in late 2007. In spring 2008, she received a wildcard into her first WTA event, the Sony Ericssson Open in Miami, but lost to Ekaterina Bychkova in the first round. During the summer, she won a small ITF doubles tournament with partner Christina McHale. She received a wildcard into the US Open qualifying rounds, where she defeated 7th-seeded Melinda Czink, but then lost in straight sets to Stefanie Vögele.

In 2009, Stephens began the year playing several ITF tournaments with moderate success. She received another qualifying wildcard into the Sony Ericsson Open, losing in the first round to Akgul Amanmuradova. In the summer, she received another qualifying wildcard into a WTA tournament, the LA Women's Tennis Championships.[24] There, Stephens won her first WTA match against Lenka Wienerová, but fell in the second round of qualifying to Anastasia Rodionova.

During the summer, she played World Team Tennis for the New York Buzz.[25] Stephens' last professional tournament of the 2009 season was the US Open, where she received a qualifying wildcard for the second year in a row. Stephens lost in the first round of qualifying. In October, Stephens turned professional when she signed with BEST.[26]

2010-2011: Entering the top 100

Stephens at the 2011 Citi Open

Stephens qualified for the 2010 BNP Paribas Open, where she defeated Lucie Hradecká in the first round. She then lost against the defending champion, 12th-seeded Vera Zvonareva. 2011, she made another run at the BNP Paribas Open, where she defeated fellow American Jamie Hampton in the first round. In the second round, she lost to world No. 1, and eventual champion, Caroline Wozniacki. The next week, as a wildcard entry, she won both matches at the qualifying stage of the Sony Ericsson Open to qualify for a spot in the main draw. In May 2011, Stephens won the $50,000 Camparini Gioielli Cup. It was her first tournament win on the ITF Women's Circuit. Stephens then participated in the qualifying draw of the French Open as the 21st seed. She beat Anastasia Pivovarova in the qualifying competition to qualify for the main draw event. She lost to Elena Baltacha in the first round.

At Wimbledon, Stephens was the 12th seed in qualifying. She lost in the second round to Nina Bratchikova. Following her improved performance at Wimbledon, she reached a new career-high ranking of world No. 125 on July 4, 2011.

Stephens was given a wildcard in San Diego and made her first WTA quarterfinals, defeating Julia Görges en route. However, she lost to Andrea Petkovic in the quarterfinals. She then lost in the first round of Cincinnati and the final qualifying round of New Haven. Being granted a wildcard to the US Open, she won her first main-draw Grand Slam match by beating Réka Luca Jani in the first round. She backed up this win by beating 23rd seed Shahar Pe'er in the second round. She then lost to former world No. 1, Ana Ivanovic.

Stephens ended the year as the youngest player in the year-end top 100, at No. 97.

2012: Teenage success

In 2012, Stephens reached the second round of the Australian Open, where she lost to 18th seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Stephens was then given a wildcard to play in the Indian Wells Masters, where she made it to the second round. She then qualified for the Miami Masters, where she advanced to the third round, defeating 30th seed Sara Errani in the second round. After the Miami Masters, she travelled to Ukraine, where she enlarged USA's lead to 5-0 following a win with Liezel Huber in the doubles tie against Lyudmyla Kichenok and Nadiia Kichenok. After failing to qualify for the Madrid Masters, she qualified for the Internazionali BNL d'Italia and advanced to the second round.

Stephens at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships

She then traveled to Strasbourg and advanced to the second round after Maria Kirilenko retired. Stephens then beat fellow teenager Tímea Babos, before advancing to the semifinals with a straight-set win over Ayumi Morita. She was defeated in the semifinals by former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone. It was her first trip to the semifinals of a WTA tournament.

She advanced to the fourth round of the French Open by defeating Ekaterina Makarova, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, and Mathilde Johansson. In the fourth round, she lost to 6th seed Samantha Stosur in two sets. She advanced to the third round of Wimbledon by defeating Karolína Plí?ková in the first round and upsetting 23rd seed Petra Cetkovská in three sets in the second. In the third round, she lost to German Sabine Lisicki.

Stephens travelled to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Citi Open. She was seeded third and defeated Sesil Karatantcheva in the first round, Michelle Larcher de Brito in the second, and Eugenie Bouchard in the quarterfinals, but fell to Magdaléna Rybáriková in the semifinals. In New Haven, she defeated seeded 33rd Austrian Tamira Paszek, but suffered a three-set loss to 11th seed Marion Bartoli.

In the US Open, she participated in Women's Singles, Women's Doubles with Tímea Babos, and Mixed Doubles with Rajeev Ram. In the first round of singles, she stunned 22nd seed Francesca Schiavone in front of the home crowd in the Louis Armstrong stadium. She then defeated Tatjana Malek in the second round. Stephens then faced 12th seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia. She won first set, but Ivanovic eventually rallied to beat Stephens in three sets. In women's doubles, she and Babos lost in the first round against Janette Husárová and Magdaléna Rybáriková. In mixed doubles, Stephens and Ram defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Horia Tec?u, who were the champions in the 2012 Australian Open, but the pair retired in the second round. Later, Stephens said she had been playing with a torn abdominal muscle, which she initially injured during the fourth round at Roland Garros. "I kept playing when I shouldn't have", she told Tennis Now. She ended the year as the youngest player in the year-end top 50, and the only teenager.

2013: Australian Open semifinal and career-high ranking

Stephens began the year by reaching the quarterfinals of the Brisbane International, defeating Dominika Cibulková and Sofia Arvidsson en route before losing to Serena Williams in straight sets in the quarterfinals. The following week, she reached the semifinals of the Hobart International, where she was seeded 8th. She defeated Laura Robson, Simona Halep and Lauren Davis en route before losing to the eventual champion, Elena Vesnina in straight sets. Stephens achieved a new career-high singles ranking of world No. 25 following the event.

At the Australian Open, she was seeded 29th. She defeated Halep, Kristina Mladenovic, Laura Robson and Bojana Jovanovski to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal where she defeated world No. 3 and tournament favorite Serena Williams in three sets to reach the semifinals. There, she lost a next match to the world No. 1 and defending champion Victoria Azarenka.[27] However, as a result of reaching the semifinals, Stephens achieved a new career-high singles ranking of world No. 17 following the event, making her the youngest player (and the only teenager) in the top 20.[28]

Stephens at the 2013 US Open

Following the Australian Open, she pulled out of the first round Fed Cup tie for United States against the 3rd-seeded Italy due to a strained abdominal muscle. She lost her opening round matches in Doha, Dubai and Indian Wells before reaching the fourth round of the Sony Open Tennis after defeating Olga Govortsova and receiving a walkover Venus Williams in the third round. However, she lost to the 4th seed and defending champion Agnieszka Radwa?ska in three sets. Stephens then lost in the second round of the Family Circle Cup to Bethanie Mattek-Sands after receiving a first-round bye. She then lost her match against Sofia Arvidsson during the 2013 Fed Cup World Group Play-offs, but the United States Fed Cup Team defeated Sweden 3-2 to secure themselves a place in the 2014 World Group. Stephens' poor form continued as she lost to Daniela Hantuchová in the opening round of Mutua Madrid Open. She broke her losing streak at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia by defeating Flavia Pennetta and Kiki Bertens to reach the third round where she lost to the world No. 2 and two-time defending champion, Maria Sharapova. At the Brussels Open, Stephens defeated Tsvetana Pironkova and Zhang Shuai to reach the quarterfinals where she lost in straight sets to 8th seed Peng Shuai. She finished the clay court season by reaching the fourth round of the French Open for the second consecutive year, defeating Karin Knapp, Vania King and Marina Erakovic en route before losing to 2nd seed and defending champion, Maria Sharapova. She also played in the doubles draw with her partner Mallory Burdette. The pair lost in the first round to eventual champions Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.

Stephens was seeded 17th at the Wimbledon Championships. She defeated Jamie Hampton, Andrea Petkovic, Petra Cetkovská and Monica Puig to reach the quarterfinals for the first time where she lost in straight sets to 15th seed and eventual champion Marion Bartoli. She was defeated in the first round in the Citi Open, and reached merely the third round of the Rogers Cup. She defeated 3rd-seeded Maria Sharapova in the second round of the Western & Southern Open, though lost in the next round. Seeded 15th, She barely pulled through the first round of the US Open, beating Mandy Minella by the extremely close score. She then recovered, cruising past Urszula Radwa?ska in the second round and Jamie Hampton in the third, before losing in the fourth round to eventual champion Serena Williams in straight sets.

Stephens then travelled to Istanbul as one of two alternates for the Tour Championships, but she did not get an opportunity to play.[29] She finished the year ranked world No. 11, and the only woman in top 30 under the age of 22.

2014: Inconsistencies

Stephens began 2014 at the Hopman Cup with John Isner representing USA. In their first rubber, USA comfortably won all of their matches against Spain. In their second rubber against France, Stephens successfully defeated Alizé Cornet, while Isner lost his singles match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and the pair lost their doubles match. In their final rubber, they faced the Czech Republic team consisting of Petra Kvitová and Radek ?t?pánek. In her match against Kvitová, she was forced to retire after losing the first set, handing the Czech team a decisive lead in their rubber. As a result of her injury, her and Isner were replaced by Bojana Bobusic and Oliver Anderson in the mixed doubles, ending her Hopman Cup campaign.

Seeded 13th at the Australian Open, Stephens advanced to the second round with a close two-set victory over Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova. In the second round, she squared off against Ajla Tomljanovi? and came from behind to defeat her in three sets. She followed this up with a straight sets win over Elina Svitolina, setting up a clash with 2nd seed Victoria Azarenka in the fourth round. Stephens would go on to lose in a rematch of the previous edition's semifinal. Following the Australian Open, Stephens competed in Doha and Dubai, falling in the first round of both tournaments. She regained form at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Seeded 17th, she received a bye into the second round, where she dispatched Ajla Tomljanovi?, Ana Ivanovic and Alisa Kleybanova in successive matches. Stephens' run was ended in the quarterfinals by veteran Flavia Pennetta, despite saving four match points in the final set. At the Sony Open Tennis, she defeated Zarina Diyas in the second round before slumping to a straight set loss to Caroline Wozniacki.

Stephens at the 2014 French Open

Stephens began her clay-court season in Charleston, seeded 4th. Receiving a bye into the second round, she drew Elina Svitolina and was defeated by the Ukrainian in straight sets. She then traveled to Colombia to compete in the Copa Colsanitas, but suffered another opening-match loss to world No. 129 Mariana Duque. She then participed in the Fed Cup as the top-ranked player in their Fed Cup World Group Play-offs tie. Squaring off against France, she contested two singles matches with mixed results, losing to Caroline Garcia before defeating Virginie Razzano. The United States would go on to lose to the French team, resulting in their relegation to the World Group II in 2015. After Fed Cup, Stephens played at the Mutua Madrid Open as the 16th seed, recording three-set victories over qualifiers Monica Niculescu and Petra Cetkovská. She ended up losing to the reigning Australian Open champion Li Na in the third round. Her next tournament in Rome was less successful, bowing out to countrywoman Varvara Lepchenko in the second round. Short of clay-court wins leading into Paris, Stephens elected to play at the Internationaux de Strasbourg, in which she received a wildcard as the top seed. However, she was unable to pick up form and lost to world No. 108 Julia Görges in their first round encounter. At the French Open, Stephens defeated Peng Shuai in the first round, and Polona Hercog and Ekaterina Makarova in second and third rounds, before going down to 4th seed Simona Halep in two sets. Despite the loss, her achievement in reaching the fourth round was particularly significant, as it marked the 6th consecutive Grand Slam second week.

Stephens kicked off the grass court season in Birmingham as the 3rd seed. She received a bye into the second round, where she defeated Francesca Schiavone. She then faced countrywoman Alison Riske and won in three sets, setting up a clash with 9th seed Zhang Shuai. She would lose to the Chinese in two sets. In Eastbourne, she beat Caroline Garcia in the first round before falling to Caroline Wozniacki. Stephens was seeded 18th at Wimbledon, but suffered a first round loss to world No. 109, Maria Kirilenko in the first round. Her loss to the Russian snapped her Grand Slam second week streak, as she had not previously lost before the fourth round since the 2012 US Open.

Following Wimbledon, Stephens began her US Open Series campaign at the Citi Open, but was defeated in the first round by Christina McHale. She would next compete in Montreal and Cincinnati, losing in the second and third rounds, respectively. At the US Open, Stephens was seeded 21st and easily beat Annika Beck in the first round. She did, however, lose to world No. 96 Johanna Larsson in the second round, committing 63 errors in the process.

2015: Return to form and first career title

Stephens began her 2015 season at the ASB Classic in Auckland as the 6th seed. She lost in the second round to lower-ranked compatriot Lauren Davis in a three-set battle. Moving on to Hobart, she once again was defeated in the second round, this time by Heather Watson who went on to win the tournament. With a slow start to the season and coming into the Australian Open unseeded, Stephens faced Victoria Azarenka in the first round, losing in two sets.

Her losing streak continued in Acapulco, where she fell to Johanna Larsson in the first round. However, she managed to regain some form and start turning the season around at Indian Wells. In the first round, she defeated Chanelle Scheepers in two tights sets. She then beat former top-10 players Angelique Kerber and Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second and third rounds respectively. Facing world No. 1, Serena Williams, in the next round Stephens won a tight first set in a tiebreak, before falling in three sets. She continued this form in Miami, going a step further than the previous tournament and reaching the quarterfinals. With straight set victories over Yanina Wickmayer, Madison Keys, Johanna Larsson, and Belinda Bencic in the first four-round, Stephens eventually fell to world No. 3, Simona Halep, after putting up a tough fight in the second set.

Going into the clay court season, Sloane was not able to capitalize on this momentum, but was playing with more confidence than she had been at the beginning of the year. Going out to Mona Barthel in the second round in Charleston, Serena Williams in the second round in Madrid, and Sabine Lisicki in the first round in Rome, Stephens turned her clay court season around in Strasbourg. She reached the semifinals after defeating qualifier Nadiia Kichenok, compatriot CoCo Vandeweghe, and former world No. 1, Jelena Jankovi?. In the semifinals, she was defeated by Sam Stosur. Stephens then went on to make it to the fourth round of the French Open for a third consecutive year. Beating Venus Williams in the first round in a tight first set tiebreak, she closed the match out in two sets. After defeating Heather Watson and Tsvetana Pironkova, she met Serena Williams for a third time this season in the round of 16. Although she came within three points of winning the match, Stephens fell in three sets.

Stephens started off her grass court season at the premier tournament in Eastbourne. After winning a three set battle against qualifier and Brit Naomi Broady, she defeated top-10 player Carla Suarréz Navarro for her first top-10 win in almost two years. With a win over Heather Watson in the third round and a walkover from Daria Gavrilova in the quarterfinals, Stephens reached her second semifinal of the year. Playing Agnieszka Radwanksa, she was able to push the match to three sets, but was unable to win. Stephens continued this good form into the Wimbledon Championships, where she lost in the first round in 2014. In the first round, she defeated 27th seed and 2014 Wimbledon quarterfinalist Barbara Strýcová, and then beat Lauren Davis in the second round. Stephens set up a third round encounter with 2015 French Open finalist Lucie ?afá?ová, but fell in three sets.

She carried her form into the Citi Open where she captured her first WTA title beating Sam Stosur en route.

Stephens continued her hard court season at Toronto, where she would lose in the first round to Dominika Cibulková. She then picked up success in Cincinnati, defeating both Carla Suárez Navarro and Mona Barthel, before being topped by Ana Ivanovic in the round of 16. Despite being seeded No. 29, her hard-court success was temporarily put on hold with a first-round loss at the US Open to CoCo Vandeweghe. Stephens was able to regain her form at Seoul, besting Na-Lae Han and Kimiko Date-Krumm. Stephens would lose to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the quarterfinals. In Wuhan, Sloane picked up a first-round win against Alison Riske but would lose in the next round to Garbiñe Muguruza. She had a similar outcome in Beijing, beating the No. 9 seed Karolína Plí?ková, and losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova in three sets in the next round. She was seeded No. 29. Her final tournament of the year was cut short with a first-round loss to Mona Barthel in Luxembourg.

Stephens ended the 2015 season ranked No. 30.

2016: Three WTA titles, foot injury

Stephens started her season at Auckland in the ASB Classic. She defeated Polona Hercog, Carina Witthöft and qualifier Naomi Broady to advance to the semifinals against Caroline Wozniacki. The semifinal match was forced to be postponed due to rainy weather when Stephens was leading 5-2 first set. Stephens finished the semifinal match in two sets and defeated Julia Görges in straight sets on the same day to claim her second WTA title.

At the Australian Open she was the 24th seed. In the first round she was put up against qualifier Wang Qiang but lost in two sets.

Then Stephens defeated Magda Linette in Fed Cup II.-World-Group match against Poland.

She claimed her third career title at Acapulco in the Abierto Mexicano Telcel, defeated qualifier Louisa Chirico, Olga Govortsova, wildcard Naomi Osaka, Yanina Wickmayer and Dominika Cibulková in a three-hour final decided in a tiebreak. After receiving a first round bye in Indian Wells, Stephens suffered a straight sets loss to a resurgent Eugenie Bouchard. The same happened at the Miami Open, where she lost to Heather Watson.

Her next tournament was the Volvo Car Open, where she received another first round bye and beat Danka Kovini?, Daria Gavrilova, Daria Kasatkina and Angelique Kerber (who retired in the second set) en route to the final, where she won her fourth singles title, $128,000 and a new electric blue Volvo V60 Polestar by defeating Elena Vesnina in straight sets. The remainder of her clay-court season was faced with modest success, getting to the round of 16 at Strasbourg, and the round of 32 at both Madrid and Roland Garros.

After getting to the round of 32 at Wimbledon, she faced first round losses in Washington DC, Montreal, and the Rio Olympics. This was her first time qualifying for the Olympic Games.

On August 26, Stephens withdrew from the US Open due to a right foot stress fracture, which would sideline her for the rest of the year. She finished the year ranked No. 36 in the world.

2017: Comeback from surgery, US Open champion and year-end struggles

Stephens and Eugenie Bouchard at the 2017 Citi Open

After having foot surgery in January with plans to return to the tour in summer, Stephens was granted the opportunity to be a broadcaster for Tennis Channel. She was featured as an off-court personality, showing activities around the grounds and conducting player interviews in Indian Wells, Miami, and Charleston.

Stephens started her comeback at Wimbledon, but fell in the first round to compatriot Alison Riske. She also lost in the first round in her next tournament at the Citi Open.

Her first breakthrough of the year came at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. Even though she entered the tournament unseeded, she surged all the way to the semifinals before falling to Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets. She also reached semifinals in Cincinnati, defeating former world No. 2, Petra Kvitova, for the second time in two weeks. These results saw Stephens come back to the top 100 in the rankings.

Entering the US Open with a protected ranking, Stephens defeated 2015 US Open finalist Roberta Vinci in straight sets in the first round, then followed that up by upsetting 11th seed Dominika Cibulková in three sets.[30][31] She then defeated breakout Australian Ashleigh Barty and 30th seed Julia Görges, to advance to her first US Open quarterfinal and her first quarterfinal at a Major since Wimbledon in 2013.[32][33] She faced 16th seed Anastasija Sevastova, and was victorious in three sets, advancing to the semifinal, where she defeated Venus Williams in three sets, reaching her first final in a Grand Slam tournament.[34][35] She then beat Madison Keys in the final for her first Grand Slam title. Other than the Williams sisters, she was the first female American US Open champion since Lindsay Davenport in 1998, and the first Grand Slam winner since Jennifer Capriati won the Australian Open in 2002.[36][37][38]

After the US Open, Stephens experienced a slew of first-round losses, losing her opening matches in both Wuhan and Beijing, and failing to win either of her contests at the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai. Stephens then lost both of her rubbers at the Fed Cup final against Belarus to Aryna Sabalenka and Aliaksandra Sasnovich, respectively. Ultimately, the U.S. won the Fed Cup trophy with a 3-2 victory over Belarus giving Stephens her first Fed Cup title.

2018: Miami Open champion, Top 5 debut, French Open finalist

Her poor form continued into the early months of 2018, losing to Camila Giorgi in the first round in Sydney and Zhang Shuai in the first round of the Australian Open. Her loss in Melbourne marked the first time the winner of the previous Major lost in the first round of the subsequent Major since 2016 Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber lost in the first round in Roland Garros.

Stephens returned to the tour as the top seed at Acapulco, defeating Pauline Parmentier and Arantxa Rus, before falling to Stefanie Vogele in the quarterfinals. Her wins over Parmentier and Rus were her first since her victory in the US Open final.

As the 13th seed at Indian Wells, Stephens defeated Victoria Azarenka before falling to eventual runner-up Daria Kasatkina. At the Miami Open, Stephens defeated Ajla Tomljanovic, Monica Niculescu, World No. 3 Garbine Muguruza, World No. 10 Angelique Kerber and three-time Miami champion Azarenka to reach the finals where she defeated World No. 5 and defending French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko to win her first title since the 2017 US Open and her sixth singles title overall. By virtue of winning in Miami, Stephens rose into the Top 10 for the first time in her career, cracking out at a career-high ranking of No. 9.

Stephens was to begin her clay court season at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston but withdrew following her win in Miami, citing exhaustion. She began her clay court campaign in the Fed Cup semifinals against France, where she defeated Pauline Parmentier and Kristina Mladenovic to help the US to a 3-2 victory and a spot in the final against the Czech Republic. Following the Fed Cup, she fell in the first round of Stuttgart to compatriot Coco Vandeweghe, winning only a single game.

Stephens next competed at Madrid, falling in the third round to Karolina Pliskova. She followed that up with a third round result at Rome, losing to Caroline Garcia. Stephens final French Open preparation came at Nuremberg where as the top seed, she fell in the first round to Yulia Putintseva.

Stephens entered the 2018 French Open having never reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros. She defeated Arantxa Rus, Magdalena Frech, Camila Giorgi, Anett Kontaveit, Daria Kasatkina and Madison Keys to reach her first French Open final. Despite being up a set and a break, she lost to Simona Halep in the final in three sets.[39] However, Stephens run at the French Open catapulted her to a career-high ranking of World No. 4, becoming the first American woman other than either of the Williams sisters to be ranked in the top 5 in the women's singles since Lindsay Davenport in 2006.

Playing style and coaching

Stephens is an all-court player. She hits her forehand with a large swing and as a result the shot can be either a strength or a weakness for her. Stephens sports a powerful two-handed backhand. Cross-court, she tends to hit a very steady ball, often hoping to run around her backhand in order to hit an aggressive forehand. She often finishes points at the net and is a competent volleyer. In her 2013 Australian Open match against Serena Williams, she won 18 of 20 (90%) net points. She also has a good serve with a very fluid motion.[40]

Stephens often stays well behind the baseline, relying on her athleticism to chase and return balls. She is capable of defending against powerfully-hit shots, and occasionally turns defensive shots into offensive shots.

She has had several coaches in her career, including Nick Saviano, Paul Annacone,[41] and Thomas Högstedt. Stephens' current coach is Kamau Murray.[42]

Personal life

Stephens splits time between her homes in Florida and Los Angeles, where she trains at the USTA training center at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. She stated that her favorite surface is clay when she entered the 2012 Wimbledon Championships.

Stephens is of Trinidadian descent through her maternal grandfather.

In 2017, Stephens graduated from Indiana University East with a bachelor's degree in communications studies.

She has cited Kim Clijsters, Venus Williams and Serena Williams as her main inspirations in tennis. She also cited her grandfather as her biggest influence growing up.[43]

Stephens is dating United States soccer player Jozy Altidore.[44]

Career statistics

Grand Slam tournament finals

Singles: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)

Result Year Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Win 2017 US Open Hard United States Madison Keys 6-3, 6-0
Loss 2018 French Open Clay Romania Simona Halep 6-3, 4-6, 1-6

Grand Slam tournament performance timelines

(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated at the conclusion of a tournament or when the player's participation has ended.

Only WTA Tour main draw (incl. Grand Slams), Olympics and Fed Cup results are considered.[45]

Tournament 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 SR W-L
Australian Open A A A Q2 2R SF 4R 1R 1R A 1R 0 / 6 9-6
French Open A A A 1R 4R 4R 4R 4R 3R A F 0 / 7 20-7
Wimbledon A A A Q2 3R QF 1R 3R 3R 1R 0 / 6 10-6
US Open Q2 Q1 Q2 3R 3R 4R 2R 1R A W 1 / 6 15-5
Win-Loss 0-0 0-0 0-0 2-2 8-4 15-4 7-4 5-4 4-3 7-1 6-1 1 / 25 54-24


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External links

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