NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sloane Stephens is determined that her unlikely triumph at the U.S. Open will not change her too much and believes she will remain the same home-loving woman she has always been.
The 24-year-old’s ruthless demolition of fellow American Madison Keys on Arthur Ashe Stadium to win her maiden major on Saturday is sure to have sponsors lining up at her door.
Stephens, however, gave an indication of her down-to-earth attitude when she sat down for a chat with her vanquished opponent on court and later revealed that one of the highlights of her day had been spotting actor James Spader in the stands.
“Where am I happy?” she pondered in front of a small group of reporters at the Flushing Meadows players’ lounge.
“When I’m at home, in my bed, eating takeout with the TV on. With my fireplace on. Blacklist is my favorite show, did you see he was here today?
“Oh my God I love him, it’s like watching a good movie, in your bed, with your fireplace on, in your PJs, it doesn’t get any better than that.
“I did (see him). Obviously it was not a distraction.”
Stephens had plenty of time to watch TV earlier this year having only got back on the training court in May after having foot surgery in January.
She returned to competition in July and was ranked 957th in the world early last month, making her success on Saturday even more remarkable.
Having taken the hard road to the top, Stephens said she was determined to enjoy her success.
“I’m not going to change much. Obviously there’s going to be more responsibilities and all the things I’ll have to do but I’m going to try everything the same,” she said.
“Of course there’s going to be struggles and I’m sure there will be some ups and downs and tough times because it’s never easy when things like that happen so it’s a lot more on a person.
“It’s going to be super fun, the next couple of months, the next couple of years.”
Stephens, however, was not keen to embrace the mantel of being the leader of a younger generation of women players.
“I don’t really think about it at all,” she said. “When I made my comeback all I was thinking was being on the court and I haven’t analyzed who’s winning what or doing what.
“I just try to focus on myself.”
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Nick Mulvenney