Sloane Stephens has been doing more than playing tennis this week on Daniel Island.
Stephens, who will play for her first Charleston title on Sunday in the Volvo Car Open finals, also has been doing good work for the Soles4Souls program.
Soles4Souls collects new and used shoes for redistribution to those who need them, and Stephens makes it a point collect shoes at various WTA Tour stops.
The 23-year-old said she collected 47 pounds of shoes for Soles4Souls in Miami last week, and hopes to top that figure in Charleston, with the help of the Volvo Car Open’s Bob Moran and Eleanor Adams.
“Bob and Eleanor want to beat Miami, which I think we’re going to do,” she said. “So yeah, we’re going to beat 47 pounds, and it’s turned out really good. Bob and Eleanor, they’ve given a lot more tickets away than I think they thought they were going to. But it’s worked out really nice.”
Stephens posed for a photo with some of the shoes, which she described as “supes cute.”
Elena Vesnina will be going for her third career singles title today against Sloane Stephens. She’s fully aware of what company she’d be in with a Volvo Car Open championship.
“It’s a big match for me,” she said. “It’s great to be in the final, especially in a great tournament like Charleston. So many great champions were here, playing many years. We have posters in the gym and the players’ lounge with like Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert. You’re just looking at them, and you know that this tournament, it means a lot for us.”
Angelique Kerber was upset that she could not give the crowd her best effort in Saturday’s semfinal against Sloane Stephens. She was forced to retire with a viral illness. Spectators gave her a standing ovation after she had to stop playing.
“I’m like hoping that the final will be really great for the people and for the fans,” she said. “And let’s see who will join Sloane in the final, and yeah, I will just have fingers crossed that it will be a perfect final for you guys.”
The team of Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic, both from France, defeated Germans Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Laura Sigemund in the doubles semifinals on Saturday, winning by 6-4, 6-3. They will face Bethanie-Mattek Sands and Lucie Safarova, 6-2, 3-6, (10-4) winners over Vania King and
Alla Kudryavtseva, in Sunday’s 10:30 a.m. doubles final.