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French Open tennis star is married to notorious ex-Premier League flop



Sloane Stephens is preparing for her first round match at the French Open and will be supported by an ex-Premier League forward in her quest to win at Roland Garros

(L-R) Tennis player Sloane Stephens and former Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore attend The 2021 Met Gala(Kevin Mazur/MG21/Getty Images For The Met Museum/Vogue)

US tennis star Sloane Stephens will be hoping to finally get her hands on the famous trophy at Roland Garros.

Stephens finished runner-up in 2018, losing out to Simona Halep, and will be eager to clinch the second Grand Slam title of her career. The 31-year-old is preparing to face Yulia Putintseva in the opening round of the prestigious clay tennis tournament on Tuesday and will be cheered on by Premier League icon Jozy Altidore.

Best remembered for his spell at Sunderland, which saw the USMNT legend score just one goal in 42 league games, Altidore is often touted as one of the biggest Premier League flops. The USA international has been without a club since leaving New England Revolution last June and will be paying close attention as his wife bids for glory at the French Open.

The sporting duo had been childhood friends during their time growing up in Florida. After drifting apart as both athletes pursued their career paths, a chance meeting saw them reconnect in 2016, eventually becoming wed on New Year’s Day in 2022.

“I was doing a media scrum in the hallway during a US Mens National team camp,” Altidore told VOGUE. “Sloane was there training for Fed Cup in Hawaii. Sloane turned the corner while having a loud conversation on FaceTime.

“We locked eyes and started talking during the scrum. We exchanged contacts and went to dinner after my game versus Iceland. The rest was history.”

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Jozy Altidore celebrates scoring his only Premier League goal for Sunderland against Chelsea in December 2013(Paul Thomas/Getty Images)

It remains to be seen whether Altidore, who also endured an unsuccessful loan spell at Hull City early in his career, will find another club or hang up his boots. Despite his torrid time in England, Altidore enjoyed prolific stints at Dutch side AZ Alkmaar and in MLS with Toronto, as well as scoring 42 goals in 115 caps for his country.

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