Tennis star Sloane Stephens is a Black sports superstar taking the world by storm. But that doesn’t mean she’s not aware of the double standards that still exist in her sport — like equal pay.
According to a recent Guardian report, the top 100 men in tennis have out-earned women of the same ranking 71 percent of the time.
Still, Stephens is optimistic that things will soon change especially thanks to tennis superstars, Venus and Serena Williams.
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“We can always do more to support women and support women’s tennis,” she told ESSENCE. “But since I’ve been playing on the tour I think a lot has changed and I think that having people at the top of our sport, trying to push us forward, and making sure that women get equal pay, and the same rules apply to everyone, and all that is very important.”
Stephens, who’s teamed up with Built With Chocolate Milk, added, “I think having people like Venus and Serena [Williams] support that is very powerful.”
The 25-year-old tennis star — who took home the US Open championship in 2017, is ranked in the top 10 by the Women’s Tennis Association, and has a total of six WTA singles titles — is just like the Williams sisters. She’s an inspiration to many young Black girls who aspire to succeed in the sport.
But Stephens has very simple advice to those wanting to be where she is on the court, and in the rankings.
“Just have fun,” Stephens advised. “The journey’s super long and if you ever get to the point of playing professional tennis or college tennis or even high school tennis, even to get to those points is very difficult, so just enjoy it.”
Stephens is set to compete in the Fed Cup in November, which will take place in Prague.