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Volume 22 No. 43
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American tennis star Stephens signs with WME-IMG, Fleming

WME-IMG has signed Sloane Stephens, one of America’s top women’s tennis players.

Stephens is also the latest to defect from Lagardère Sports and Entertainment, whose tennis group is shedding players and agents since its leader was fired last fall.

Sloane Stephens is ranked No. 30 in the WTA Tour rankings.
Lagardère fired John Tobias after his group lost Eugenie Bouchard and Victoria Azarenka to WME-IMG. Much of his group is now gone, and other players from Lagardère have also recently signed elsewhere or are considering doing so.

WME-IMG emphasized that the Stephens signing had far more to do with what it has to offer than the turnover at Lagardère.

“We pretty much have every resource available from literary to TV production to digital to fashion,” said Carlos Fleming, who will represent Stephens. Fleming represents tennis players and football players, including Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, for marketing.

Tobias signed Stephens when she was a junior player in 2009 and brought forth her current deals with the likes of Under Armour, Head and American Express.

Stephens was No. 30 in the WTA Tour’s rankings last week, after a career high of No. 11 in 2013. She joins a loaded roster under management at WME-IMG that includes Bouchard, Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Serena and Venus Williams, Madison Keys and Petra Kvitova.

Julien Cassaigne, who replaced Tobias at Lagardère, could not immediately be reached for comment.