Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens says is happy to see so many women of colour succeed in the sport of tennis and hopes that more players will follow in their footsteps. Speaking to the press after her win, Stephens was asked about the increase in the diversity in the sport.
"Well, I think it's awesome. Obviously right now kind of leading our sport on the women's side is African American women, which is amazing, from Naomi to Coco, Venus, Serena, obviously Maddie, myself, and then obviously the younger girls coming up.
I think there is an amazing opportunity to get more women of color in this sport, and obviously tennis is giving us so much in our lives. I think it's an amazing opportunity for right now to get more people of color in this sport, because you can see now there are so many amazing players playing and it's a good opportunity for us.
Sloane Stephens looking forward to playing against Serena Williams
Stephens has not dropped a set at this year's tournament in her two matches so far and says she is more confident about her game after struggling in most of her matches this season.
"Yeah, I thought I played well today. Obviously getting into a little bit of a better rhythm, like, kind of feeling my game out a little bit more, getting that confidence back. Today I thought I played well, built on my first match."
Her next opponent will be the 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in what should be a blockbuster match in the third round encounter. And Stephens says she is very much looking forward to the match, even if she would be missing the energy of the fans for such a high-profile encounter.
"Really looking forward to it, another shot just to have an opportunity to play obviously without having played that much this year. It's just another amazing opportunity to get out there. Well, I know if there were fans it would be so lit, and I'm kind of sad that we're not playing in front of fans because it would be so fun.
Obviously no fans, the atmosphere won't be as big, but obviously a big opportunity to play against the greatest player in the world." 27 year old Sloane Stephens won the 2017 US Open and moved into the third round of this year's event on Thursday after a straight sets win over Olga Govortsova.