American tennis star Sloane Stephens has said that she never thought she would get an opportunity to be a part of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She landed the cover of the September 2018 issue of Sports Illustrated after winning her first major title at the 2017 US Open.
Talking about her first appearance, Stephens, 24, who was photographed by James Macari in Aruba, a tiny Dutch Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela, said, "I've always loved the beauty of the SI Swimsuit issue and thought it would be incredible to one day be a part of it. I honestly never thought I'd have the opportunity. When the opportunity was presented, I immediately said yes because I felt really honoured to be a part of it."
Speaking about her perception of models, she said, "The most challenging shots were ones posing with the waves splashing on you. Trying to maintain your composure with waves and sand flowing was wild. I have so much respect for all of the models of the world. Modelling is fun but extremely challenging work."