Sloane Stephens (born March 20, 1993) is an American professional tennis player. Stephens was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Sybil Smith (who, in 1988 as a swimmer at Boston University, became the first African-American female to be named First Team All-American in Division I history) and John Stephens, a professional American football player. Stephens had no connection with her father until she was 13, when she began a close over-the-phone friendship with him. John Stephens was killed in a car accident on September 1, 2009, just before the start of the US Open. Stephens attended her father's funeral in Louisiana, but remained entered in the US Open. She has cited Venus Williams, Serena Williams, and Kim Clijsters as her inspirations in tennis. Stephens had a breakthrough year in 2008, when she finished the US Open Junior doubles as runner-up alongside partner Mallory Burdette.
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