Tennis star Sloane Stephens, formerly of Fresno, is on the fame train.
Not only has Stephens, 24, inspired many with her comeback story – she was recovering from injury and ranked outside of the top 900 a month ago then won the U.S. Open on Saturday – her spontaneous personality has made her a media magnet and the latest “It Girl.”
Check out what she said during her post-match news conference, highlighted by Stephens’ response to whether she’d like to win another Grand Slam tournament.
“Of course, girl, did you see that check that that lady handed to me?” Stephens said, drawing laughter from the crowd.
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That combination of tennis talent, personality and her story of perseverance led to Stephens landing on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday.
“Coming into the U.S. Open I was like, ‘Wow, I’m playing pretty good,’” Stephens said. “This is shocking because this was only my fifth tournament back.”
She’s also landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
And Stephens has become part of latest sports power couple, as the U.S. Open shed light that she is in a relationship with Major League Soccer star Jozy Altidore, who attended a few of the U.S. Open matches last week in New York.
Altidore wasn’t there for the championship Saturday since he had his game with Toronto FC, which kicked off shortly before Stephens defeated Madison Keys to win her first major.
But he found out about Stephens’ victory through his mom, who was at the soccer match but monitoring the U.S. Open.
“It’s special, kudos to her for her dedication, her hard work, her resilience,” Altidore said. “To be out for such a long time and have the work ethic to come back at an even higher level than she was before, well done to her.
“I’m sure everybody’s pleased.”
Stephens, by the way, catapulted up the WTA Rankings, going from No. 957 last month to No. 83 and now No. 17 in the world.