By Kevin Skirvin ’18 and Liza Sisk ’19
In her first ever Grand Slam final American Sloane Stephens walked away victorious. For the first time since 2002, all four women in the semi-finals were American. It was the first grand slam victory for an american woman not named “Williams” in 15 years. The unseeded, 83rd ranked woman in the world made history by becoming the third woman outside the top 10 to ever come out on top. Stephens is the lowest ranked player to reach and win the title match at the U.S. Open and only the 14th unseeded player to reach the Grand Slam finals in the Open Era.
Stephens bested match favorite and fellow American Madison Keys at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, New York. In the best of three sets, Stephens handed Keys the loss in matches scoring 6-3 and 6-0. Although walking on to the court as the underdog, Stephens had unprecidented momentum as she jumped more than 900 spots in the world rankings in one month.
Stephens soared over insurmountable hurdles to secure her title as a grand slam victor. On January 23, she underwent surgery to right an injury in her foot that had sidelined her for 11 months. After defying these odds and coming out on top, Stephens is projected to rise to No. 17 in the world rankings, according to CNN.
Not only was this an incredible personal victory, and an illustration of hard working paying off, Stephens also netted a generous cash prize, Earning $3.7 million. Prior to this win, her career earnings totaled $4,519,709.