Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens, of the United States, has spoken about the contribution of her mother, Sybil Smith, to helping her become the person that she is today, in an essay for the Bustle, an online American women's magazine founded by Bryan Goldberg.
Stephens won the 2017 US Open title and credits her mom for helping her realise the importance of giving back to the community, which she does through her foundation - the Sloane Stephens Foundation.
Sloane Stephens on the impact of her mother in her life
In the essay for Bustle, Stephens says, "It’s a good thing that she’s literally obsessed with tennis.
I think that’s why she’s gotten so involved in my foundation, the Sloane Stephens Foundation, which provides educational opportunities and exposure to tennis for kids K-12 in Compton, California..... "My mom and I are very hands-on with the community the foundation serves.
I called her the other day and she was driving down to Compton to drop off lavender essential oils for a kid who was having trouble sleeping. That’s the kind of person she is." Stephens goes on to add in the essay that her mother was inspired by her own parents, who were also very involved in supporting the community.
"My mom was constantly saying how we need to give back growing up, but obviously, she had to get it from somewhere. My grandma was very similar — she and my grandfather founded a girls' group for tutoring, mentoring, and cultural exploration called Young Women of Tomorrow.
She was on the school board. She’s still writing checks to the NAACP." Stephens adds that it was due to her mom's support and love that she has now been able to support others. "For the kids who are part of the foundation, it's really important to have structure and stability.
To have people who they know are committed to them, who love them, who support them. I've been really lucky 'cause my mom has done that for me. And now, we can be that for other people. The 27 year old American is a former World No.
3 and is currently ranked No. 37 in the world. She has won six WTA singles titles in total, including the Miami Open. She has also been a finalist at the French Open and the season-ending WTA Finals. Sloane Stephens is seeded No.
26 for the US Open singles event, which begins next week in New York. She will face Mihaela Buzarnescu in the first round and could meet third seeded Serena Williams in the third round.