WTA tennis players Sloane Stephens and Eugenie Bouchard join gymnast Aly Raisman, para snowboarder Brenna Huckaby and golfer Paige Spiranac as the featured athletes in the 2018 SI Swimsuit issue, out on newsstands this week.
After winning her first major title at the 2017 U.S. Open, Stephens landed the cover of the Sept. 18 issue of Sports Illustrated, but this year marks the 24-year-old's first appearance in SI Swimsuit. Stephens was photographed by James Macari in Aruba.
"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," Stephens said. "When the opportunity was presented, I immediately said yes because I felt really honored to be a part of it."
Stephens said she was nervous and excited before the shoot, but quickly relaxed, and things ended up going "better than expected."
"I’m not quite sure what I expect the reaction to be but I’m hoping [my friends and family] see it as a fun, beautiful expression of myself," Stephens said.
For Bouchard, this year's SI Swimsuit issue marks her second consecutive appearance after shooting with Emmanuelle Hauguelin Turks & Caicos in 2017 with fellow WTA stars Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki, Like Stephens, Bouchard was also photographed by James Macari in Aruba. How did things go the second time around for the 23-year-old Canadian?
"It was definitely easier! I was much less nervous this time around," Bouchard said. "I felt I had experience from my first SI shoot which helped me for this second one. I actually asked MJ to 'go for it' more in this shoot because I felt so comfortable."
You can learn more about Stephens' and Bouchard's experience on set and see more photos of both women, and the other featured athletes and models in the 2018 SI Swimsuit issue, here.