Published: Mon, September 11, 2017
Sport | By Scott Davis

Stephens routs Keys for US Open title, first Slam crown

Stephens routs Keys for US Open title, first Slam crown

Sloane Stephens stayed composed throughout the US Open final, playing near-perfect tennis to win her maiden grand slam title with a 6-3, 6-0 victory against Madison Keys as the future of American women's tennis seemed assured late on Saturday. The others were unranked Kim Clijsters in 2009 and No. 26 Flavia Pennetta in 2015.

Keys acknowledged afterward it was all a bit much for her, and it showed: She wound up with 30 unforced errors.

Stephens was ranked 957th in the world after this year's Wimbledon, but triumphed 6-3 6-0 in the final at Flushing Meadows. My graduation date is December 14th, but I don't think that's going to happen.

"I definitely think my play today came down to nerves and all of that", she said, "and I just don't think I handled the occasion perfectly".

Routed by Sloane Stephens in the U.S. Open women's final, Keys says she would "1,000 percent go" to her friend's victory celebration. Two of those players - Venus Williams and Stephens - are African-Americans and Keys is bi-racial.

Saturday marked the first time since 1998 that the women's draw at the U.S. Open was won by an American not named Serena or Venus.

"To be able to play her in both of our first finals is a really special moment", Keys said, "especially with everything that we have gone through this year". "That's a lot of money!" She will play in the women's doubles final on Sunday, with Chan's sister as her partner.

Unranked players aside, Stephens is the second-lowest ranked player to reach and win the title match at a grand slam, after No. 111 Chris O'Neil, who won the 1978 Australian Open.

Keys texted Murray a couple of days before the US Open began to arrange a practice session with Stephens.

In addition to Stephens, Keys also was making a comeback from injury.

"If you told me two months ago that I'd be holding a (runner-up) trophy for the US Open, I'd be really happy and proud of myself", Keys said.

In the second set, Stephens broke with a forehand crosscourt victor past on outstretched Keys to grab a 2-0 edge, then broke again on a double fault for a 4-0 lead, Keys swatting the ball with her left hand as it bounced back at her.

The No. 15 seed has never won the US Open. She also, according to the WTA's website, had a second surgery on the wrist ahead of Wimbledon, and she also withdrew from Rogers Cup in Toronto because of a left forearm injury. Tracy Austin picked up two titles, in 1979 and 1981, and Martina Navratilova, who became an American citizen in 1981, won four of her own from 1983 to 1987. And above all, parity in American women's tennis appears to be on the upswing again.

Keys lost just three games in her semi-final victory over Coco Vandeweghe, when she landed 24 winners and leaked just nine unforced errors.

Stephens joins Muguruza, Ostapenko and Petra Kvitova as players born in the 1990s to win a grand slam title.

Following Whitney Osuigwe's French Open win and Claire Liu's Wimbledon crown, the Anisimova-Gauff final will ensure three different American girls will win the Grand Slam junior titles in the same season.

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