More Than A Championship: Victory Beyond The Title

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Saturday afternoon a star shined brightly on the tennis court. As thousands gathered in New York for the Women’s US Open Championship, 24-year old Sloane Stephens proved that perseverance pays off. Though the young athlete has faced many adversities along the way, she didn’t let the challenge strip her of success. With Stephens winning in two sets, she humbly claimed her first Grand Slam Title.

Stephens journey to victory has not been the easiest. A year ago she was affected by a stress fracture in her left foot, causing her to miss 11 months, and sit out of the 2016 US Open. Having had surgery in January, she was not sure that this moment would be possible.

Her coach Kamau Murray shared. “You always expect to play well and try hard and give a good effort, which she has been doing very consistently,” he said. “So long as you do that, you put yourself in a position to win, but to win this many matches so soon, she’s blessed.”

As I was watching the trophy presentation ceremony live, Stephens stressed the importance of staying the course and not giving up. Emotional, she thanked her mom and emphasized the significance of parents supporting children’s dreams. Later Stephens even joked. “I should just retire now.”  “I told Maddie I’m never going to be able to top this. I mean, talk about a comeback.”

Due to her dedication and hard work, Stephens is now the second unseeded US Open women’s champion in the Open Era. She could have let her 83rd ranking and injury set her back. Instead, she saw her trials as a challenge that she would conquer. So, despite what adversity you may be facing, I encourage you to rise to the occasion. It won’t be easy and it’s going to require hard work, but don’t give up! Make sure your passion keeps you motivated. Let Stephens story inspire you! She is an example that even when things do not appear to look in your favor, if you believe in yourself and stay persistent, you can succeed.