Just yesterday, Madame Noire was putting 19-year-old up-and-coming tennis star Sloane Stephens in the spotlight. Well, she up and won.
Serena Williams, a 15-time Grand Slam winner and one of the best players the game has ever seen, lauded Stephens earlier this week, saying “she can be the greatest player.” Williams then got bounced from the Australian Open by Stephens in a shocking 6-3, 5-7, 4-6 loss. Not only did she lose the match, she totaled one of her rackets in a most sublime fashion.
As a tennis fan, I respect Williams’ passion and immense talent. And her arms. Dang. That racket didn’t stand a chance. Serena Williams is fantastic.
Williams was a bit hobbled by an issue with her back. But mostly, it was Stephens’ play that brought her to victory. And match announcers were quick to declare that the future of U.S. women’s tennis had arrived. At this point, Stephens is slated to become the 17th-seeded player in the world, and could edge higher if she continues to advance in the tournament. Next up for Stephens is the number one player in the world, Victoria Azarenka.
Besides her tennis prowess, Stephens is quick to talk up her Twitter feed (her Twitter followers more than doubled to 35,000 after the win), and has a great personality. If she keeps up her winning ways, brands will be knocking down her door to sign endorsement deals soon enough.
Stephens is already a spokesperson for Under Armour, American Express, Johnson & Johnson, Head Raquets, and Usana Health Sciences. No doubt, she will return home to other offers and additional media attention. She said in post-match comments that she’s going to use some of the $526,793 she’s already won for this tournament on Jimmy Choos. So that might be the first offer waiting for her when she gets off the plane.