When Sloane Stephens lifted the silver ware yesterday at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, it was the stuff true heroines are made of. The 24 year old dimpled, ebony beauty with the flashlight smile had just accomplished, what would have been considered by many, the impossible dream.
Sloane is the grand daughter of Trinidad born, 92 year old Dr. Noel Smith, her undisputed hero. Just six months prior, the new U.S. Open champion underwent a successful stress fracture surgery to her foot. Amplifying even more the level of her accomplishment. Her achievement yesterday making her only the second unseeded player ever to win the title.
Sloane Stephens Pays Tribute To Her Grand Father
Speaking with Tennis.Com before her Grand Slam win, Sloane shared:
“My hero is my grandpa because he’s the best person who ever lived on this planet. I love him so much and he taught me everything that I know.”
He taught me how to read, how to garden, how to plant, how to cook, how to make bread, the colors of the rainbow, everything.
Every Sunday we FaceTime…Our talks aren’t about tennis, but he told me that I need to keep my racquet parallel to the net at all times.”
When Grandpa Calls
So upon wining, what is probably the first of many Grand Slams, the first call Sloane receives is from her obviously doting granddad. As he heaps her with much deserving adulation, the tears begin to flow.
Sloane Stephens in tears after talking to her proud grandfather on the phone pic.twitter.com/oN2ZbMxBE6
— Andrew Jerell Jones (@sluggahjells) September 9, 2017
Parents Need To Be Praised
But granddad is not the only one that Sloane Stephens holds dear to her heart. Speaking after her win, the champion also pays glowing tribute to her mom:
“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.”
Not only has she shown that she is more than that coach could ever be. She is now exulted to a place where only few can ever ascend.