It’s probably safe to call 19-year-old Sloane Stephens a rising star of tennis — especially now, after her Australian Open win last night against Serena Williams, which some are calling the biggest upset of the tournament. Williams, the 15-time grand-slam winner and Olympic gold medalist, injured her back in the eighth game of their second set, ending a run of 20 consecutive wins.
Stephens, who told ESPN she wasn’t even sure that she could beat Williams until the morning of the match (“When I got up, I was like, ‘Look, Dude, like, you can do this.’ Like, ‘Go out and play and do your best,’ ” she says she told herself), gained 13,000 Twitter followers in the 15 minutes after her victory.
Keep an eye on this one. And keep the other one on what appears to be a manufactured story about Williams being Stephens’ mentor, based simply on the fact that they’re both black women in a still predominantly white sport. Deadspin has a pretty funny rundown of how writers have been grasping at straws in an attempt to make the relationship a story, when all the two athletes have really acknowledged is that they’re friendly.
Read more at ESPN.