There are some 19 year olds who come to Paris to immerse themselves in the majestic history of this great city. Some get the opportunity to come here to make a bit of a name for themselves. One in that latter...
There are some 19 year olds who come to Paris to immerse themselves in the majestic history of this great city. Some get the opportunity to come here to make a bit of a name for themselves. One in that latter category is the American Sloane Stephens who has the makings of a star of the future. Stephens reached her first career Grand Slam fourth round at Roland Garros and her infectious personality has got people talking. The women’s game needs people like Sloane Stephens and she’s got a couple of influential friends who can also help to guide her, none other than Serena and Venus Williams. And like her infamous friends Sloane is starting to enjoy the finer things such a career brings. And why not? One of the playful incentives to herself at this French Open is to get through as many rounds as necessary to have enough prize money for a first class airfare back to the States after her run at Roland Garros is over. I put it to Sloane: “First class seat … fourth round French Open, weigh it up, which is bigger?” “Oh my God,” she said, her eyes bigger than saucers. “First class. The seat that becomes a bed, warm cookies, great food, place to stretch. Oh first class for sure. I will be up there in first and my Mom and aunt can be at the back of the plane so they don’t bother me.” Sloane is just having a great time. She is very close to her mother and aunt who have been by her side throughout.  They have been an integral part of why she has come into form as things have come together for the American in recent weeks. There was a period before that when not much seemed to be going right with her game and there was a sense of erraticism. “My mom came over and my aunt came, and that helped me a lot, because I don't know what was going on,” Stephens said. “My head was … I was having brain farts and things weren't going my way. I was being 19, and I think now I am being 29.  So I think my mom and aunt definitely helped me through the last couple of weeks. You know I am very grateful for that.” And part of this whole calming influence is a gift her grandparents gave her. A silver Tiffany necklace that she wears is inscribed with "In Calmness and Confidence." “Every time I'm like getting really tight or I'm like, oh, my God, what am I doing? I'm just like, okay, relax, you can do that; I think of that and it helps me,” she said. The attention she is getting makes her excited, because now “I'm going to have more Twitter followers; that's good.  I'm excited”.  She likes the fact that she is being noticed and recognized for sport and “being up there with Venus and Serena, I mean, that's awesome”. A tough period in her younger life has probably helped to make her stronger. When things were not going well, her mother promised her and her brother, “things will get better”. “That’s the way it has worked out,” Stephens said. Sloane Stephens is a breath of fresh air and can only be seen as a positive. Take my advice and watch her play.