Who Is Sloane Stephens?
Sloane Stephens is a professional tennis player from the United States. She is currently ranked thirteenth in the world, the highest ranking of her career.
Stephens was born in Plantation, Florida on March 20, 1993. She has a younger brother, Shawn, who is still in high school where he plays football and baseball. Sloane’s mother, Sybil Smith, was an All-American swimmer at Boston University, and her father, John Stephens, played professional football in the NFL; he was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1988. Sadly, he was killed in a car accident in 2009.
Sloane Stephens made her professional tennis debut (on the ITF circuit) in 2007. In 2008, she earned a wild card entry into the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, but lost in the first round. She played a few other professional tournaments that season, including a wildcard entry into the US Open qualifying rounds, where she beat Melinda Czink, who was seeded seventh. She lost in the next round, though, and did not get to play the Open. The 2009 and 2010 seasons were much of the same: A few professional tournaments, but little tournament success.
It wasn’t until the end of 2011, following a season that saw her consistently advancing into the middle rounds, that Stephens moved into the top 100 in the world. She ended that season ranked #97. In 2012, Stephens had her 19th birthday. She also moved into the top 50 in the tennis world thanks to greater experience and improved play.
In 2013, Stephens reached the semi-final round of the Australian Open, where she lost to then world number one Victoria Azarenka. Notably, Stephens defeated Serena Williams in the quarter-finals of that tournament, arguably the biggest win of her young career. She advanced to the quarter-finals of Wimbledon as well in 2013, earning her the number 13 world ranking that she currently holds.
It’s still early in Sloane Stephens’ career but, based on her steady improvement over the first few years, it seems likely that she will only continue to get better.