Five things you may not know about US Open champion Sloane Stephens

10 September 2017 08:24

Sloane Stephens defeated Madison Keys to win her first grand slam title at the US Open.

It was a first grand slam final for the 24-year-old, who needed just 61 minutes to post a 6-3 6-0 victory.

Here, Press Association Sport picks out five things to know about Stephens.

1. Stephens' athleticism is no surprise given her genes. She is the daughter of swimmer Sybil Smith and professional American football player John Stephens. Her father left the family home when she was a toddler but they were reconciled many years later before he was killed in a car accident in 2009.

2. Stephens was introduced to tennis aged nine by her mother and stepfather, Sheldon Farrell, who died of cancer when she was 14. She shared a hugely emotional hug with Smith immediately after the match and then paid tribute to her, saying: "I think parents don't get enough credit. When I was 11 years old, my mom took me to a tennis academy. One of the directors there told my mom that I'd be lucky if I was a Division II player and I got a scholarship."

3. Stephens first came close to winning a grand slam title four-and-a-half years ago in Australia. She beat Serena Williams in the quarter-finals before losing to Victoria Azarenka. Afterwards, Stephens went public about what she perceived as a snub by Williams, who had been described as her mentor. "She's not said one word to me, not spoken to me, not said hi, not looked my way, not been in the same room with me since I played her in Australia," Stephens said. "They think she's so friendly and she's so this and she's so that - no, that's not reality." Stephens later apologised.

4. Stephens' boyfriend is USA football international Jozy Altidore, who she met at school. Altidore was unable to be at the final because he was playing for Toronto FC in the MLS but his mother shouted the result to him from the stands during the first half. It was a good day all round for the couple, with Altidore scoring twice in a 4-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes.

5. Stephens says she is happiest away from the court when she is lying in bed in her pyjamas with the fire and the TV on eating takeaway. Her current favourite show is The Blacklist and she had to keep her focus when James Spader, one of the stars of the show, was picked out on the big screen in the stands during the final.

Source: PA