Sloane Stephens has skyrocketed to No. 4 in the world less than a year into her comeback. She's officially the top-ranked American in the rankings, marking just the second time a non-Williams sister has held that role in 11 years.
"Playing Wimbledon it'll be a full year since I started playing again. Everything I've been able to accomplish in a year has been incredible," Stephens said in a press conference. "All these great things have happened. I worked really hard to be back here and now I'm going to work even harder to stay where I am and continue to have the results."
After Wimbledon in 2011, a world No. 31-ranked Bethanie Mattek-Sands was ahead of both Williams sisters with Serena ranked No. 175 after failing to defend her title and Venus sitting at No. 34.
Last year when Stephens left the All England Club after losing in the first round to Alison Riske, she was ranked outside the Top 900. Undeterred, she would win the US Open for her first Grand Slam title just two months later.
After a series of early losses to end her 2017 season, she turned things back around in 2018. In March, she won the Miami Open and then she went on a run to the French Open final, where she led by a set and a break against world No. 1 Simona Halep.
Watch Stephens in Tennis Channel's Unstrung:
It's pretty clear that Stephens can win on any surface. She'll go into Wimbledon as one of the Slam favorites, even though her best result came in 2013 when she reached the quarterfinals. She also won't play a warm-up event on grass before Wimbledon starts on July 2.
"There's always going to be pressure. There's always going to be people writing about you, and the pressure you put on yourself—there's a lot of that," the 25-year-old said. "There's nothing you can do about it... If you're prepared and you're in a good mindset you can conquer your own anxiety.
"That's the only thing in your control. Do your best at all times and whatever happens, happens."
A LANDMARK DOCUMENTARY DURING THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS EVENT IN SPORTS, CELEBRATING THE UNPARALLELED FEDERER-RIVALRY AND 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GREATEST MATCH EVER PLAYED.
In association with All England Lawn & Tennis Club, Rock Paper Scissors Entertainment and Amblin Television. Directed by Andrew Douglas.