Other than defeating Serena Williams at the Australian Open, 19-year-old Sloane Stephens had to work hard to overcome a lot in her life to get as far as she has come. The teen tennis star had to rise above a series of family traumas and train her heart out to make her tennis dreams come true.
Stephens’ father was a former New England Patriots running back. John M. Stephens made contact with her when she was 13-years-old after learning that he suffered from a degenerative bone disease. Sloane’s father had divorced her mother when she was little and had not been in her life. He wanted to build a relationship with his daughter before his death.
The two connected quickly and had a good relationship before he crashed his truck in 2009. He was driving without a seatbelt and lost control of his vehicle while driving down a stretch of highway in Louisiana. After hitting some trees off of this rural stretch of road, he lost his life in that accident.
This loss was tough for Sloane who had just got her dad back, but it was made even harder after she gathered information about him on the internet. The teen was devastated when she discovered that he had plead guilty to rape charges back in 1994. He was arrested on more charges of s*e*xual assault after that crime, some of which were pending when he died.
In all of this tragedy Sloane turned to tennis. Turning her grief into passion on the court has truly started to pay off. Having overcome all of this adversity, Sloane Stephens is looking forward to a bright tennis future.