Insider Analysis: Three things from Sloane Stephens' US Open victory

Sloane Stephens of USA returns a shot against Madison Keys of the US during the US Open women's final

At her moment of victory, 24-year-old Stephens turned to her supporters with a look of complete astonishment on her face, and no wonder. Before winning the U.S. Open, her career earnings were $4,519,709. Tracy Austin beat Martina Navratilova that year in the women's final, and Zina Garrison beat Kate Gompert in the juniors.

The parity that once existed in US women's tennis dwindled a bit in the years that followed Navratilova's final title at Wimbledon in 1990, at least in terms of the number of players making it to a Grand Slam final.

Americans Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys, both struggling with serious injuries just three months ago, advanced to their first Grand Slam final at the US Open on Thursday.

She is only the fifth unseeded female player to claim a major title in the Open era and victory continued her remarkable return from injury.

Sloane Stephens has won the first set in the U.S. Open women's final.

While waiting for the post-match ceremonies, Stephens moved her chair across the net to sit beside Keys, the two sharing a good laugh.

In a ruthless display, Stephens played more like the ultimate mean girl than best friend as she brought Keys to tears with a 6-3, 6-0 demolition in front of a sold-out Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Asked how she is likely to view her success in NY years from now, Stephens said: "I think it will be super cool".

Stephens comes from an athletic family and she didn't seem intimidated by being in her first Grand Slam final.

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Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys played out what was a disappointing final of the US Open after an interesting two weeks in the women's singles draw.

Hingis, already a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and Murray are 10-0 as a duo. They have won ten games in which they have participated since they form a tandem.

The sight of a black man on Wimbledon's manicured lawns, French Open clay and Australian and U.S. Open hardcourts was once as jarring as it is now routine.

"So, I think it's super cool".

Over the past 15-plus years, a relatively few number of people have won the majority of the Grand Slam titles in tennis - the tournaments that pay out the most.

The unseeded Stephens was clearly calmer and more organized in her game plan, while the 15th-seeded Keys never appeared comfortable in the surroundings of a Grand Slam championship match.

But what followed was a tremendous display of sportsmanship from two women who grew up together and have positioned themselves as not just the future but the now of American tennis.

Keys hit the ball harder and harder but it would always come back and she needed a 19-shot rally to save her second match point. Afterwards, Stephens went public about what she perceived as a snub by Williams, who had been described as her mentor.

Sybil Smith made her tournament debut in the player box for the final as her daughter made history.



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