Sloane Stephens accomplishes a career first at Charleston Open

Stephens and Ashlyn Krueger are Charleston Open champions

Sloane Stephens, 31, is a Grand Slam champion who has accomplished a lot in her career, but the 2024 Charleston Open was a first for her.

It was the first time Stephens won a WTA doubles title; the same is true for her 19-year-old partner Ashlyn Krueger. Stephens told the Tennis Channel earlier in the week that she seeks out younger girls to play with because it is fun and as a younger player, she wanted to play with older players, and none availed themselves to her. It is her way of giving back to the game and being a mentor.

Stephens and Krueger are making a big splash in a short time. In addition to winning the 2024 Charleston Open, their fourth tournament together, they made it to the quarterfinals at Brisbane in January. In Miami last week, they pulled off a huge first-round upset of their American counterparts Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula.

What's next for Stephens and Krueger

With a clay court title under their belts (Stephens' favorite surface), it will be interesting to see what Stephens and Krueger do next. A logical tournament for them to play is the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany, a WTA 500 event with a doubles draw of 16 teams.

American women's tennis is finding unexpected stars in this Olympic year. Danielle Collins in singles and Sloane Stephens and Ashlyn Krueger are picking the right time to peak in 2024. At the end of 2023, many fans assumed that Coco Gauff and the doubles team with Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula would be the leading contenders for Olympic medals. Gauff and Pegula are shoo-ins for the Olympics, but the selection process for doubles is a bit murky with two months to go until decisions are made.

Stephens and Krueger do not have control of the process, but a good spring and a successful run at the French Open (home of the Paris Olympics) could give them a chance to make the 32-team draw for Olympic doubles. Stephens is currently ranked 105th in doubles but that is up 110 places.

Another pair to keep an eye on for the spring and summer and potentially the Olympics are the Miami Open champions, Sofia Kenin and Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Taylor Townsend has also proven that she can play and win doubles with multiple players so she could factor in also.

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