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Courtside with Sloane Stephens: Florida's own Tennis hero

Courtside with Sloane Stephens: Florida's own Tennis hero

Sloane Stephens has serious Florida roots. She was born in Plantation and currently resides in Ft. Lauderdale. In her teens, Stephens trained at Nick Saviano's tennis academy in Davie. After ascending to a career-high WTA world ranking of No. 3, she offered a glimpse into her past as part of the My Journey video series produced by the WTA and Morgan Stanley.  

Stephens, a prodigy who picked up her first racket at age nine, recalls her early days with fondness. "I started playing tennis when I was nine and lived across the street from a club. My first coach was the most fun coach I've ever had in my whole life," she says. 

Stephens opens up about becoming a Grand Slam champion. She acknowledges, "When I won the US Open, my grandpa said it was the American dream." It turns out her grandfather's influence was a driving force in her life, shaping her work ethic and aspirations. "He worked until he was 70 and delivered 40,000 babies. I want to love my work as much as he loved his," Stephens says. 

Stephens's success on the court is matched by her commitment to education and planning for the future. "Education's always been number one before sports," she asserts. This mindset led her to pursue her degree and Master's degree. "I know at some point tennis will be over, and I need to be set for this time. I need to save," she adds, highlighting her strategic approach to life and finances.

Beyond her personal achievements, Stephens is passionate about giving back, especially to children, who she believes are "God's greatest gift." Her foundation services about 10,000 kids a year, offering free tennis programs and emphasizing the importance of education. "Even if it's like a 25-minute thing, they're getting to experience tennis in some way," she says, underscoring the impact of these programs.

Stephens carries the legacy of her grandfather's American dream and the spirit of Florida's tennis community. Her journey is a reminder that with passion, hard work, and a heart for giving back, anyone can make an impact both on and off the court.



Written by Florida Tennis' Executive Editor and Publisher Matt Pressman. Source: WTA (presented by Morgan Stanley). Photos courtesy of Credit One Charleston Open.

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