Sloane Stephens is happy to have come through an emotional couple of years to play in the WTA Finals for the first time. The 25-year-old won her maiden Grand Slam tournament when taking the 2017 US Open title, with victory over fellow American Madison Keys in the final.
It was the culmination of a lot of hard work as she had been out of action for nearly 11 months and underwent foot surgery in January 2017, returning to action at Wimbledon later that year.
The Florida resident has enjoyed an up-and-down 2018, reaching the final of the French Open but falling in the first round at both the Australian Open and SW19.
A run to the last eight at Flushing Meadows was a boost, while she won the Miami Open back in March.
Stephens will now make her debut in the eight-player season-ending Singapore event and feels it is fitting reward after a couple of tough years.
“I think playing the whole year and making it here, I think that’s pretty cool,” she told Reuters. “I had some great results, a lot of very high highs and tough lows. I think I managed it well. I guess that’s all part of the sport.
“But this year and last year, I’d say both equally as amazing. I’d say this year is just a little bit more emotional because of the amount of tennis I had to play. But equally as happy with both seasons.”