OPEN CHAMP STEPHENS
SHORTLISTED FOR USOC AWARD
Ashley Marshall | October 3, 2017
Sloane Stephens defied the odds when she captured her first Grand Slam women’s singles title at the 2017 US Open. Now, she has a chance to capture another prestigious award.
Stephens has been shortlisted for the United States Olympic Committee’s Female Athlete of the Month Award for September.
She is one of five women nominated for the accolade, which is determined by fan voting ending on Monday, Oct. 9. The USOC awards recognize the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes over the past 30 days.
Stephens is going up against four other Americans: skeet shooter Dania Vizzi, para-cyclist Shawn Morelli, water skier Regina Jaquess and paratriathlete Grace Norman.
Last month, the 24-year-old defeated five seeds and toppled countrywoman Madison Keys in the first all-American US Open final since 2002.
IN doing so, she improved from No. 83 to No. 17 in the world rankings.
Even more impressive is that Stephens was coming off a pair of foot injuries, the latter of which prompted surgery on Jan. 23. Stephens, who was unable to walk in the middle of April this year, dropped to a low of No. 957 in the world rankings on Aug. 1 before her remarkable climb, which culminated in victory in New York four weeks ago.
Past U.S. tennis monthly award winners include Serena Williams, who captured the honors in June 2015 and January 2017. Other USOC award winners include Bob and Mike Bryan, who won the Olympic Team of the Year award in 2012; Jennifer Capriati, who captured USOC SportsWoman of the Year award in 2001; and Pete Sampras, who was named USOC SportsMan of the Year in 1997. In 2011-12, the U.S. men's quad doubles wheelchair tennis team was named the USOC Paralympic Team of the Year.
Support Stephens and join the conversation by voting at TeamUSA.org/Awards.
Update (Oct. 11): Stephens was named one of the USOC Athletes of the Month for September, alongside boxer Duke Ragan and the U.S. Para-rowing PR3 mixed coxed four team of Jennifer Sichel, Jaclyn Smith, Zachary Burns, Danielle Hansen and Mike Varro.