Sloane Stephens: The New Face of Women's Tennis | STACK 4W
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Sloane Stephens: The New Face of Women's Tennis

January 23, 2013

Must See Tennis Videos

After Sloane Stephens' surprising 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 upset over her idol Serena Williams in the Australian Open, the exuberant 19-year-old wasn't thinking about the historical implications of her victory or even her next match. The last thing Stephens said in a post-match interview with ESPN was, "I hope to have a lot more Twitter followers!"

Stephens (whose Twitter account @sloanetweets has tripled its number of followers since the victory) may just be a giddy teenager now, but her victory signaled a changing of the guard in women's tennis. A 15-time Grand Slam singles champion, Williams was the No. 3 seed and a heavy favorite to win the Australian Open. She had never lost to a younger competitor before Stephens. For Stephens, the game was supposed to be a learning experience, a matchup against one of the greatest tennis players in history.  Instead it introduced Stephens as an elite tennis player to a global audience.

Here in the United States, we've long awaited new tennis superstars to succeed the Williams sisters and Andy Roddick. With Roddick retiring and the Williams sisters' recent injuries, Stephens is stepping into the limelight at an opportune moment. The daughter of the late John Stephens, who played seven years in the NFL, Sloane grew up with a poster of the Williams sisters in her bedroom. She never mimicked their style of play, but she used their accomplishments as a source of motivation to make it to the top of her sport.

As a younger teenager, Stephens reached the third round of the 2011 U.S. Open and the fourth round of the 2012 French Open. After the biggest victory of her career, she'll play top-seeded Victoria Azarenka in the semifinal on Thursday (late Wednesday night, Eastern time). Next Monday, she'll be the youngest player on the world's Top 20 list.

Regardless of the outcome of tonight's match, Stephens has already become a new role model for young female athletes. As female athletes, we've long been accustomed to surviving in a male-dominated world. However, with American men's tennis in a slump, a women's sport is currently outshining its male counterpart in the States, and Stephens is leading the charge.

So what about that coveted bedroom wall space occupied by the Williams sisters poster?  "Oh my goodness, I think I’ll put a poster of myself now," Stephens said in her post-match interview.

Williams was not pleased.

GIF: Guyism.com

Topics: TENNIS | NEWS
Samantha Jones
- Samantha Jones is a graduate of the University of Alabama, where she earned her bachelor's degree in communication and information sciences. Throughout her scholastic career,...
Samantha Jones
- Samantha Jones is a graduate of the University of Alabama, where she earned her bachelor's degree in communication and information sciences. Throughout her scholastic career,...
Must See
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 32,038,581
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,472,069
Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks
Views: 21,653,048

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: University of Kentucky Views: 147,463
Add Core Power for Basketball With Damian Lillard's Med Ball Throws Views: 4,254,658
Path to the Pros 2015: The Journey Begins Views: 23,946
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

James Harden's Journey From Sixth Man to Franchise Player

How Skylar Diggins Became the Future of the WNBA

6 Powerful Women in Men

Jeris Pendleton's Tough Journey to the NFL

Colin Kaepernick: A Determined Man

Larry Fitzgerald: 'You Can

4 Stories of Baseball Perseverance With New Balance Unlaced

WATCH: The Touchdown of the Year

My Day With the King of the NBA D-League, Ron Howard

Meet the Real Gang Behind DeSean Jackson

Amazing 6-Year-Old Surfer Girl Will Brighten Your Day

WATCH: The Toughest 5 Days In High School Girls

WATCH: Armless Man Throws First Pitch

Featured STACKlete: Brandon Petty

15 Things You Need to Know About Antonio Brown

Prepare to Be Inspired by One-Legged Soccer Player Nico Calabria

Patrick Willis Announces His Retirement, Fulfills His Legacy

Athletes Join the Cause for National Bullying Prevention Month

Joe Mauer