“Best Buds”: Sloane Stephens Reveals her Best Friends on WTA Tour

Published 03/07/2021, 6:40 AM EST
Sloane Stephens, of the United States, left and Madison Keys, of the United States, stand at the net for a photo before playing each other in the championship match of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) ORG XMIT: USO122


While being fierce competitors on court, straining every inch of themselves to put the other down, tennis stars across generations have also had each other’s backs and we’ve witnessed some wonderful friendships on tour. And, if the latest social media post of Sloane Stephens is any indication, the tradition continues.

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The 27-year-old Stephens has introduced her best friends to her Instagram followers, and it turns out they are also her rivals on Tour.

Sloane Stephens shares image of herself with Jennifer Brady and Madison Keys

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Sharing a picture of herself with compatriots Jennifer Brady and Madison Keys, the World Number 42 named them as her “best buds”.

The image, a selfie, shows the American in the front seat of a car, with Keys and Brady flashing smiles sitting out back.

Stephens has no head-to-head record against Brady, the losing finalist at this year’s Australian Open, as they are yet to set up a meeting on the opposite ends of a tennis court. However, she does share a healthy rivalry with Keys, with four head-to-head meetings.

What’s more, the 27-year-old currently holds the bragging rights over her countrymate with a 3-1 lead in their on-court rivalry. Stephens and Keys last met on the clay at Charleston, US, in 2019, with Keys finishing on the winning side in three sets.

Sloane Stephens lost in first round of Australian Open, Madison Keys pulled out after testing positive for Covid-19

The 26-year-old Keys tested positive for the novel coronavirus days before she was due to fly out to Melbourne for the Australian Open.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 18: Sloane Stephens of the United States celebrates winning match point in her third round match against Petra Martic of Croatia during day five of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 18, 2019, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

While her brush with Covid-19 ruled her out of the year’s first Grand Slam, Stephens made a first-round exit from Melbourne Park after losing to Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.

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Brady, however, had a tournament to remember as she took down the likes of Donna Vekic and Karolina Muchova to seal her passage to the final, setting up a fresh meeting in the summit clash with Naomi Osaka after her loss in the semifinals of the US Open last year.

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The 25-year-old, while showing flashes of brilliance, couldn’t stand up to the challenge posed by the Japanese as she went down in straight sets in the final.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

830 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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