Sloane Stephens Shares How She Makes Her Marriage Work And Honors Her ‘Trailblazer’ Mom

Tennis champion Sloane Stephens is all about celebrating Black Love. Whether it’s with her husband Jozy Altidore or honoring her mother, who blazed trails for Black women in sports decades ago.

One year after marrying her longtime boyfriend and childhood friend, Stephens is dishing on how the two pro athletes keep their spark alive. The 2017 US Open Champion and Altidore have been going strong since reconnecting back in 2016 years after they first met in the fith grade, as noted by the NY Times.

Stephens a decorated tennis champion and Altidore, a current player for the New England Revolution, tied the knot in a lavish ceremony in their hometown of Florida on New Years Day 2022. Since eloping, the happy couple has been tasked with adjusting to married life all while being two in-demand professional athletes.

But when it comes to balancing her relationship while maintaining a busy schedule, Stephens says it takes lots of discipline.

“Communication and delegation!” Stephens told BLACK ENTERPRISE.

“We are very disciplined with our schedules and expressing our priorities to our teams so that when it is family time, we are all in and fully present.”

“Because Jozy is also a professional athlete, there is so much implied understanding about what is required for each of us to do to be and feel our best,” she added. “It is so comforting to have that level of understanding in a partner.”


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Stephens is still busy competing in tennis matches around the world, all while serving as a wife to Altidore and stepmother to his son from a previous relationship, as noted by People. The same goes for her husband who exited the Toronto FC soccer last February to join the NE Revs.

But there are key components to managing their marriage and sports careers, Stephens says. She believes vulnerability and aligning their goals are what keeps them stable.

“Our lives have a lot of distractions and it would be really easy to be pulled in a million directions and pursue lots of different opportunities, so it is absolutely critical to really be vulnerable with each other and align on our end goals and what we’re working towards,” she said.

“If we’re rowing in the same direction, it’s much easier to weigh every opportunity against that end goal – if it helps us get there together, great, if not, it’s a no from us.”

In addition to her work on the court, Stephens also lends her hands in community work and education initiatives.

“I got my MBA online during the pandemic so I could show our students that I’m putting in the work alongside them,” she shared. “Almost all of the students we work with will be first-generation college attendees and graduates and it is important for me to use tennis as the hook to keep kids engaged in the classroom and excited to go to school.”

Trailblazing is in Stephens’ DNA. The Grand Slam champion kicked off Black History Month this year by honoring her mother Sybil Smith, a former collegiate swimmer who became the first African-American female swimmer to be named a first-team Division I All-American, and the only All-American in Boston University women’s swimming history.


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“My mom is a trailblazer and an inspiration to me, especially in another sport where historically there has been very little representation for women of color,” she said.

“From an early age, she empowered me to believe that I deserved to be out there competing against everyone else. On top of that, she understands the sacrifices and commitment required to perform at a high level and has always done what is needed to support me.”