Somehow, Jozy Altidore got word.
The Toronto FC striker was on the field for the first half of his team’s game against the San Jose Earthquakes when his girlfriend Sloane Stephens won the US Open by beating Madison Keys 6-3, 6-0 in New York City.
“My mom told me in the stands,” Altidore told TSN’s Kristian Jack at half-time.
“It’s good for her. We’ve been friends for a long time and to see her progress as she has, it’s a great sight to see.
“It’s special. Kudos to her, her dedication, her hard work [and her] resilience to be out for such a long time and have the work ethic to come back at an even higher level than she was before.”
“I’m thrilled for her,” Altidore said. “She’s worked really hard to get back to where she is right now and I couldn’t be happier.”
Altidore was in attendance for Stephens’ semi-final victory over Venus Williams at Arthur Ashe Stadium before returning to Toronto for his own match. He recently had the chance to cheer her on locally at the Rogers Cup.
“I don’t think there’s been a more positive person in my corner that I’ve had,” Stephens told the New York Times of Altidore’s role in her recovery from a stress fracture near her ankle.
Just weeks ago, Stephens was ranked at 957th in the world as a result of her time out of action.
“When I was on the peg leg (cast), I was with him, and I would always make fun of myself and he’d make fun of me,” Stephens added. “But he kept it really light for me, so I was never too sad.”