Tennis phenom Sloane Stephens is on a mission to empower the next generation of players in the sport. According to People, the Florida native has teamed up with the United States Tennis Association and Mercedes-Benz USA to raise funds for youth sports organizations.
During the U.S. Open—which kicks off on August 31—for each of Stephens’ aces, Mercedes-Benz will donate $50 to the association’s Rally to Rebuild initiative. Launched in June, Rally to Rebuild is a fundraising campaign designed to support sports and education organizations throughout the country. For this specific effort, dubbed Ace the U.S. Open, the money raised from Stephens’ matches will go to three National Junior Tennis and Learning chapters, one of which is the Sloane Stephens Foundation chapter.
“This is something that we can all get behind and it’s for a good cause. And it’s something we’re all super passionate about — helping junior tennis and NJTL chapters and with the USTA. I’m super excited to be a part of it,” she said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “Tennis has given me an amazing opportunity in life, so many opportunities to travel the world and meet people. I think we should all be giving back to junior tennis and people who are looking to play the game. To those who don’t want to because they think tennis is too expensive, or think you need a coach or whatever it is.”
There is a major need for initiatives like Rally to Rebuild. According to a report released by The National Charitable Foundation of the USTA, the accessibility to participation in the sport has a direct correlation to a family’s socioeconomic level and financial resources. Underfunded schools and communities don’t have the means to invest in the creation of youth athletic programs.