Sloane Stephens Wins the 2017 US Open: The Impossible is Possible

USP TENNIS: U.S. OPEN S TEN USA NY
September 7, 2017 New York, NY, USA– Sloane Stephens of the United States celebrates after match point against Venus Williams of the United States on day eleven of the U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY

Once again, we have yet another “David” pulling off an upset win when no one, and I mean NO ONE, gave her a chance. The “her” is Sloane Stephens. 

Who is Sloane Stephens?  Who knew or even wildly guessed she would win the US Open?  And who saw this one coming? We’ll field the answers to Questions 2 and 3 first: nobody and not anybody.  Now for Question No. 1: Sloane, a 24 year old who has been playing professional tennis since she was 16, came from nowhere and ended up somewhere very special. The winners circle at the US Open is a pretty special place to be, especially when you didn’t expect to end up there.  Good for her. For more on Stephens, check out her web site http://sloanestephens.com/about/ which is pretty nice.

Sloane Stephens, who was unseeded and ranked 83rd, defeated Venus Williams in the semi-finals of the US Open, and in 2013.  At the tender age of 15, she defeated Serena in the Australian Open! Sheeesh!  I love it. 

Once again, sports stands at the front of the classroom, with chalk in hand at the blackboard drawing X’s and O’s, teaching us once again that an unknown can come from the unknown and become so well known that we can’t ignore how hard work and faith can combine and collaborate in a comeback conquest for the ages.  But none of this looked possible earlier this summer.

Stephens, who had been sidelined for 11 months after a foot injury and underwent surgery in January, made her comeback at Wimbledon and entered this summer’s US Open Series ranked 957th.  Talk about sitting in the back of the bus! But she’s been on a tear in the North American events, reaching the semifinals in Toronto and Cincinnati.  

“I had surgery January 23,” Stephens said. “If someone told me then that I’d win the US Open, I would say ‘It’s impossible – it’s absolutely impossible.’  My journey to get here, coming back, just being able to keep it all together and have such a great team behind me — this journey’s been incredible. And I honestly wouldn’t change it for the world. 

Wow. What a humble, meek and modest message.

With the win, Stephens is projected to rise to No. 17. She also nets a hefty payday: $3.7 million. Her career earnings heading into this tournament were $4,519,709, with $310,546 coming this year.  http://us.cnn.com/2017/09/09/tennis/us-open-final-madison-keys-sloane-stephens/index.html

 Sloane Stephens

And her reaction and facial expression after she found out how much her earnings were is priceless.  “That’s a lot of money,” a visibly surprised Stephens said.

 Sloane Stephens Wins 3.7 Mil

Get used to it sista. 

RGIII Says He’s The Best Quarterback in the League. Seriously?

Reblogged From Chris Chase, “For The Win” – http://ftw.usatoday.com/

Jul 30, 2015; Richmond, VA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III speaks to media after the morning walkthrough on day one of training camp at the Washington Redskins Bon Secours Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-227802 ORIG FILE ID: 20150730_gav_sb4_003.jpg

“If it’s preseason it must be time for Robert Griffin III to utter meaningless quotes that are ridiculed for his complete lack of self-awareness. And (check your watch), it’s time.

Here was the Redskins quarterback, who should no longer be referred to as “RG3” because nicknames are for people who aren’t in quarterback battles with Kirk Cousins, speaking to Alex Parker of Washington’s ABC affiliate right before the ‘Skins broke camp (via DC Sports Bog):

I don’t feel like I have to come out here and show anybody anything or why I’m better than this guy or better than that guy. It’s more about going out and affirming that for me, I go out and I play, I know I’m the best quarterback on this team. I feel like I’m the best quarterback in the league and I have to go out and show that. Any athlete at any level, if they concede to someone else, they’re not a top competitor, they’re not trying to be the best that they can be. There’s guys in this league that have done way more than me. But, I still view myself as the best because that’s what I work toward every single day.

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III kneels on the sideline during an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard) ORG XMIT: OTK

So. Many. Thoughts. Let’s go in order.

  • If working hard at something every day made you the best in a given field, then Tim Tebow would have four Super Bowl rings, Jon Gruden would call games like John Madden and Chip Kelly would be a member of MENSA.
  • The reason you don’t have to “come out here and show anybody anything or why I’m better than this guy or better than that guy” is because you play on a team where the owner undermines the head coach and may or may not decree that you are the starter.
  • As for the “best quarterback in the league” comments — I mean, fine. Without self-belief, what are we? When you’re theoretically one of the 32 best people in the world at a given profession, you don’t get there by second-guessing yourself and thinking you’re inferior. Every NFL quarterback should think he’s the best quarterback in the league, even if, in a sober assessment, they’d know they really aren’t. But the problem with Griffin isn’t that he believes this, it’s that he says it out loud after three straight years of babbling nonsense at training camp that only serves as fodder for his likely failures. He doesn’t learn his lessons. If he can’t figure this out, maybe it’s not a surprise he panics and runs every time his first option is covered.
  • And you know what? Maybe it does matter that Griffin thinks he’s the best. He said he’s the best because he works for that every day. Shouldn’t he be working to be the best? But in his head, he already is, so he’s, what, sustaining his greatness? Maybe that’s semantics, but that’s why you don’t say anything during training camp. Be boring. Be Peyton Manning. Nothing good ever came out of tweeting, late nights at clubs or being open with the press in August. Or bucket hats with drawstrings, for that matter.”
  • And so the moral of the story is this: be humble. Meekness and modesty are mannerisms that should be maintained.  It’s just like the Good Book says:

 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.   1 Corinthians 10:12

 

Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. Proverbs 16:18