Twenty-four year old Sloane Stephens serves (no pun intended) as a reminder that it’s not about where you start, it’s where you finish. Stephens overcame injuries and a 934th ranking (6 weeks ago) to win her first career Grand Slam title as the 2017 U.S. Open women singles champion. Stephens defeated Madison Keys with a 6-3, 6-0 final performance.
In her acceptance speech, Stephens recalled a moment in which a coach told her mother that she would “be lucky if I was a Division II player and I got a scholarship.” But her defying the odds began with her mother’s unwaivering support.
The image of a shocked yet appreciative Stephens receiving the $3.7 million dollar prize check prompted the question during the press conference whether this win has inspired her to pursue another Slam title. Stephens responded, “Of course, girl did you see that check that lady handed me? Like yes. Man if that doesn’t make you want to play tennis then I don’t know what will.”