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Five Miles Up with … Sloane Stephens

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As the U.S. Open is already under way, eyes are trained on the “one to watch,” Sloane Stephens. The U.S. tennis world is pinning their hopes on the 20-year-old, who calls both Florida and Los Angeles home, to be its newest female star. If the “brass knuckles” airport security took away from her are any indication, she’s a force to be reckoned with both on and off the court.

What’s something you never fail to pack in your suitcase?
My laptop. Since I travel so much, having my computer is a way to always have a piece of home with me, since it makes it so much easier to communicate with family and friends back home.

Carry-on or check-in?
Check-in. I usually have too many bags to carry on. My tennis bag alone is the size of a big carry-on.

Window or aisle?
Window. I like leaning against the window and not having people trying to get past me.

What’s your idea of the perfect vacation?
Somewhere warm and sunny where I can relax, preferably with a beach.

Tell us about a vacation you’ve taken that’s come close thus far.
I went on a fun vacation on Maui right after Wimbledon. I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, which was absolutely incredible. It was exactly what I needed after the pressure of a big Grand Slam. I can't wait to go back.

What’s the worst vacation or annoying travel experience you’ve had?
Flight delays and cancellations are always the worst. I travel so much, those sorts of delays are inevitable, but it doesn't make them any easier.

What's the silliest souvenir you ever came back with?
I bought a brass knuckle iPhone case at one tournament and it was a hit everywhere. Unfortunately, security at the airport took my phone case away.

Favorite hotel/resort you've ever stayed in?
The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa was a beautiful resort, the people were so friendly and I could just relax and have fun. I also enjoy the Langham Place Hotel, Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Favorite destination for competing in your sport?
Indian Wells, Calif. It’s such a beautiful and picturesque location for a tennis event. The weather is always great and it’s close to where I live in Los Angeles, so my family and friends are able to come watch.

Biggest regret you've ever had while on vacation.
I actually don't have any regrets. I have so few vacation days that I make the most of them. I guess my only regret would be that I wish I had more of them.

The one thing you're willing to splurge on above all else.
Shoes! A girl can never have enough shoes, right?!? I would say I have an extremely wide variety of fashion shoes that I like because I like to change my style up every once in a while.

Three songs (or artists) on your travel playlist?
Rihanna’s “What Now,” Zedd’s “Clarity” and Ariana Grande’s “The Way.”

Where would you take someone visiting your hometown for the first time?
There are so many amazing restaurants in Los Angeles that I think the whole world should try. It would be hard to pick just one, so I’d probably spend every day of their visit taking them to all my favorites.

You only get one more trip in your lifetime. Where will it be?
I have been fortunate enough to travel nearly everywhere in the world, so it’s a tough call. To be honest, just being home is amazing because it doesn't happen very often. However, if I had to pick one place … I would have to say Paris. I LOVE PARIS!

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