Sports

Sloane Stephens Wins First Tennis Grand Slam With US Open Victory

Sloane Stephens Wins First Tennis Grand Slam With US Open Victory

Tennis sensation Sloane Stephens won the U.S. Open Women's championship title by beating her oppenent and close friend, Madison Keys, 6-3, 6-0 on Saturday night (Sept. 9) in NY. Stephens finished the match with 10 winners and six unforced errors while her competitor, who was the No. 15 seed, logged 30 unforced errors and 18 winners.

Stephens was taken aback when asked if she felt bad for her fellow American after the one-sided affair before a sold-out Arthur Ashe Stadium. They became the best of friends a year ago through phone and texting after both sat out of the Australian Open because of operations - Keys on her left wrist, Stephens on her left foot.

"Did you see the check she's about to get?" she added to laughter from reporters.

NOTES: On the 60th anniversary of Althea Gibson's first of back-to-back U.S. Open championship wins, Stephens became just the fourth African-American woman to win a Grand Slam title, following Gibson, Venus and Serena Williams.

Stephens broke Keys twice in the first set and benefited from her foe's 17 unforced errors to seize the early advantage. Oh, and, don't forget: She is now, and forever will be, a Grand Slam champion.

Along with her winner's trophy, Stephens can deposit a whopping $3.7 million into her bank account, a record amount for the tournament.

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The 83rd-ranked Stephens, who beat Venus Williams in the semifinals, is only the second unseeded woman to win the tournament in the Open era, which began in 1968.

Stephens' wallet may be a little lighter come Sunday morning, however.

"Yes, (I'll be buying) a lot of them, apparently", Stephens said with a smile.

"You always expect to play well and try hard and give a good effort, which she has been doing very consistently", her coach Kamau Murray told The Times.

Sidelined for almost a year after sustaining a right foot stress fracture, Stephens returned to competitive tennis at Wimbledon with a first-round exit against Alison Riske. "Wow! What a moment", she said.

That realisation was apparent in the way Stephens played with freedom at Flushing Meadows and in her composure in the decider on Saturday. "I told Maddie I'm never going to be able to top this".


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