Sloane is ranked in the top 10 by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), and achieved a career-best ranking of No. 3 in the world in the summer of 2018. Stephens was the 2017 US Open champion, and has won six WTA singles titles in total. Born to athletic parents with backgrounds in collegiate swimming and professional American football, Stephens was first introduced to tennis at the club across the street from her house in Fresno, California. Her stepfather was a competitive recreational tennis player and served as her primary inspiration for beginning to play the sport. Stephens moved to Florida to train at a tennis academy, ultimately working with Nick Saviano for many years. She developed into a promising junior player, reaching a career-high ITF junior ranking of world No. 5 and winning three out of four Grand Slam girls' doubles titles in 2010 alongside her partner Tímea Babos. While still just 19 years old, Stephens rose to prominence at the 2013 Australian Open with a semifinal run highlighted by an upset of then-world No. 3 Serena Williams. Although she climbed to as high as No. 11 towards the end of that year, she later regressed and stayed steadily ranked outside the top 25 through the end of 2015. At this point, Stephens switched to a new coach, Kamau Murray, under whom she returned to an elite level and won three WTA titles in the first half of 2016. Her successful year was then cut short by a foot injury that kept her sidelined for eleven months. She returned from injury in the middle of 2017 and won her first Grand Slam singles title at the US Open in just her fifth tournament back. She was also awarded WTA Comeback Player of the Year for her successful season. In 2018, Stephens continued her success by winning her first Premier Mandatory title at the Miami Open, reaching a second Grand Slam singles final at the French Open, entering the top 10 for the first time, and finishing runner-up at the WTA Finals.