Mon, Sep 11, 2017 - Page 11 News List

No place like home for US Open champ

COMEBACK:After taking time off this year to recover from surgery, Stephens returned to competition in July ranked No. 957 in the world to claim her maiden major

Reuters, NEW YORK

Sloane Stephens poses with her winning check on Saturday after defeating Madison Keys during their US Open women’s singles final at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.

Photo: AFP

Sloane Stephens is determined that her unlikely triumph at the US Open will not change her too much and believes she will remain the same home-loving woman she has always been.

The 24-year-old’s ruthless demolition on Saturday of fellow American Madison Keys on Arthur Ashe Stadium to win her maiden major is sure to have sponsors lining up at her door.

However, Stephens gave an indication of her down-to-earth attitude when she sat down for a chat with her vanquished opponent on court and later revealed that one of the highlights of her day had been spotting actor James Spader in the stands.

“Where am I happy?” she said at a news conference at the Flushing Meadows players’ lounge.

“When I’m at home, in my bed, eating takeout with the TV on. With my fireplace on. Blacklist is my favorite show, did you see he was here today?” she said. “Oh my God I love him, it’s like watching a good movie, in your bed, with your fireplace on, in your PJs, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Stephens had plenty of time to watch TV earlier this year having only got back on the training court in May after having foot surgery in January.

She returned to competition in July and was ranked 957th in the world early last month, making her success on Saturday even more remarkable.

Having taken the hard road to the top, Stephens said she was determined to enjoy her success.

“I’m not going to change much. Obviously there’s going to be more responsibilities and all the things I’ll have to do, but I’m going to try everything the same,” she said.

“Of course there’s going to be struggles and I’m sure there will be some ups and downs and tough times because it’s never easy when things like that happen so it’s a lot more on a person. It’s going to be super fun, the next couple of months, the next couple of years,” she said.

However, Stephens was not keen to embrace the mantel of being the leader of a younger generation of women players.

“I don’t really think about it at all,” she said. “When I made my comeback all I was thinking was being on the court and I haven’t analyzed who’s winning what or doing what. I just try to focus on myself.”

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