With Serena Williams out on maternity leave, we knew a new queen would be crowned at this year’s US Open. And Sloane Stephens had no issues stepping up to the plate to take her icon’s place.
The 24-year-old, who was ranked 957 in the world a few weeks ago, won the first major title of her career after defeating Madison Keys 6-3, 6-0 in the final of the 2017 U.S. Open on Saturday.According to The New York Times, it was the first Grand Slam singles final for both women, who have been friends since their junior days and have played on Fed Cup teams and Olympic teams together.
When the match was over, Stephens gave her”bestest friend on the tour” a long hug, telling her “Come here baby.” During the awards ceremony, Stephens said that she wished it could have been a draw and that she will always support Madison no matter what.
Even Serena took a break from social media since giving birth to her daughter to praise the two young women before the match:
Stephens, who beat Venus Williams in the semi-finals, is the first American woman not named Williams to win a Grand Slam singles title since Jennifer Capriati won the Australian Open in 2002, the Times pointed out.
And folks are here for her historic win:
Stephens not only walks away with bragging rights, but a three-plus million dollar check that she was totally shocked by, telling the rep from Chase Bank, “That’s a lot of money!”
Of course Madison offered to hold it for her while she modeled off her championship trophy for the crowd.
Stephens admitted that this win was very unexpected.
As The Guardian noted, she just returned to the game from an 11-month hiatus after undergoing foot surgery. Not to mention, she went out in the first round at Wimbledon. But something clicked and she stormed through this championship like the boss she proved to be.