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Is Sloane Stephens the next Serena? Daughter of ex-NFL star and All-American swimmer becomes the first unseeded woman to win US Open in eight years - securing a huge $3.7million payday

Get to know Sloane Stephens, who many say is next Serena

  • Stephens, 24, beat Madison Keys, 22, to win her maiden Grand Slam on Saturday
  • She is the second unranked player to win a US Open title since 2009
  • The tennis star is the daughter of late NFL running back John Stephens and All-American swimmer Sybil Smith 
  • She began playing tennis at age nine and made her professional debut in 2007
  • In September, it was revealed she is dating pro-soccer player Jozy Atidore, 27
  • Both from Florida, they have known each other since Stephens was in fifth grade

On Saturday, Sloane Stephens made history, jumping more than 900 spots as the second unseeded woman ever to win a Grand Slam at the US Open and the first unranked female to win her maiden title.

The 24-year-old, back this summer from almost a year off the courts because of a foot injury, played a near-perfect game with a 6-3 6-0 victory against 15th-seeded Madison Keys, who was playing with a heavily bandaged right thigh.

'It's incredible. I honestly had surgery January 23 and if someone had told me I'd win the US Open, I would have said it's impossible,' said Stephens, who will pocket a record $3.7million check.

In the first all-American US Open women's final since Serena Williams beat her sister Venus in 2002, Stephens made only six unforced errors to frustrate Keys.

But not many know much about how the rising star. And with experts saying she could be the next Serena, we let you get to know the newest champion.

Sloane Stephens, 24, made history jumping more than 900 spots as the second unseeded woman ever to win a Grand Slam at the US Open and the first unranked female to win her maiden title (pictured, with her trophy)

Sloane Stephens, 24, made history jumping more than 900 spots as the second unseeded woman ever to win a Grand Slam at the US Open and the first unranked female to win her maiden title (pictured, with her trophy)

Stephens (left), back this summer from almost a year off the courts because of a foot injury, played a near-perfect game with a 6-3 6-0 victory against 15th-seeded Madison Keys (right), who was playing with a heavily bandaged right thigh

Stephens (left), back this summer from almost a year off the courts because of a foot injury, played a near-perfect game with a 6-3 6-0 victory against 15th-seeded Madison Keys (right), who was playing with a heavily bandaged right thigh

Stephens (pictured) is taking home a record $3.7million check as a result of her win
In 2017, Stephens's (pictured) net worth was estimated to be $1.5million, but she stands to make millions more in endorsement deals

Stephens (left and right) is taking home a record $3.7million check as a result of her win. In 2017, her net worth was estimated to be $1.5million, but she stands to make millions more in endorsement deals 

Stephens was born in Plantation, Florida, to Sybil Smith and John Stephens, a former NFL running back who was killed in a car accident in 2009.

And Smith, as a swimmer at Boston University, became the first African American to be recognized as first team Division I All-American.

Her mother and stepfather introduced her to the sport that would win her prestige and fame at age nine and she began playing at the Sierra Sport and Racquet Club in Fresno, California. Stephens made her professional debut in 2007 at age 14.

After winning the biggest match of her career on Saturday, Stephens took time to thank the one person who has supported her the most - her mother.

'We've been on such a journey together. My mom is incredible,' Stephens told reporters after her win.

'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.

'I think any parent that ever supports their child. You could be me one day. So parents, never give up on your kids. If they want to do something, always encourage them.' 

Stephens (pictured) was born in Plantation, Florida, to All-American swimmer Sybil Smith and John Stephens, a former NFL running back who was killed in a car accident in 2009
Stephens (pictured) began playing tennis at age nine, after being introduced to it by her mother and stepfather

Stephens (left and right) was born in Plantation, Florida, to All-American swimmer Sybil Smith and John Stephens, a former NFL running back who was killed in a car accident in 2009. She began playing tennis at age nine, after being introduced to it by her mother and stepfather

After winning the biggest match of her career on Saturday, Stephens took time to thank the one person who has supported her the most - her mother (Pictured, Stephens, center, with her mother, left, and grandfather, right, on Thanksgiving Day 2000)

After winning the biggest match of her career on Saturday, Stephens took time to thank the one person who has supported her the most - her mother (Pictured, Stephens, center, with her mother, left, and grandfather, right, on Thanksgiving Day 2000)

On Saturday, Stephens went up to her box after the victory and hugged her coach Kamau Murray, her boyfriend Jozy Altidore, and others. She and Smith shared a long embrace before Stephens returned to the court for the trophy presentation. 

And Stephens has a lot to celebrate. This was only the second time at the US Open, that two first-time finalists have faced off in a grand slam final. 

Additionally, Stephens, unseeded and ranked 83rd, is the second unranked player to win the US Open since computer rankings began in November 1975. The first was Kim Clijsters from Belgium in 2009. 

In 2017, Stephens’s net worth was estimated to be $1.5million, but she stands to make millions more in endorsement deals as a result of her epic win.

Stephens has done a great deal to keep her personal life very private, but revealed in September that she is dating pro-soccer player Jozy Altidore, 27 (pictured together in July)

Stephens has done a great deal to keep her personal life very private, but revealed in September that she is dating pro-soccer player Jozy Altidore, 27 (pictured together in July)

It is unclear how long they have been dating but the two say they have known each other since Stephens was in fifth grade (Pictured, Altidore, left, cheers on Stephens on Thursday)
As she defeated Venus Williams on Thursday to advance to the final round of the US Open, Altidore was spotted inside Arthur Ashe Stadium cheering his girlfriend on (pictured)

It is unclear how long they have been dating but the two say they have known each other since Stephens was in fifth grade. As she defeated Venus Williams on Thursday to advance to the final round of the US Open, Altidore was spotted inside Arthur Ashe Stadium cheering his girlfriend on (left and right)

Stephens has done a great deal to keep her personal life very private, but revealed in September that she is dating pro-soccer player Jozy Altidore, 27.

'I don't think there's been a more positive person in my corner that I've had,' she told The New York Times of Altidore, who plays for Toronto FC.

'When I was on the peg leg, I was with him, and I would always make fun of myself and he'd make fun of me. But he kept it really light for me, so I was never too sad.'

Details on how long the two have been dating are unclear, but Stephens says she has known the soccer player since she was in fifth grade as both grew up in Florida.

And as the tennis star defeated Venus Williams on Thursday to advance to the final round of the US Open, Altidore was spotted inside Arthur Ashe Stadium cheering his girlfriend on.

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Comment by Jovis Charles on September 12, 2017 at 12:57am
Fantastic!!! Never give up.
Comment by vaughn mitchell on September 10, 2017 at 9:15pm
Love it, much respect.

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