Sloane Stephens humbles Madison Keys to win US Open title

Unseeded Sloane Stephens humbled American compatriot Madison Keys in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0 to win the 2017 US Open Women's Singles tile on Sunday at Arthur Ashe stadium, New York.

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: Sep 10, 2017, 07:13 AM IST
Sloane Stephens humbles Madison Keys to win US Open title
Courtesy: Twitter (@usopen)

New Delhi: Unseeded Sloane Stephens humbled American compatriot Madison Keys in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0 to win the 2017 US Open Women's Singles tile on Sunday at the Arthur Ashe stadium, New York. (As it happened)

The match lasted 61 minutes with Stephens, whose world ranking had plummeted to 957 at the start of the US Open series after a foot injury forced her out of the tour, produced a disciplined performance to beat her best friend on the tour in an one-sided match.

The 24-year-old was sidelined for 11 months by the injury, then retured in July to capture her first Grand Slam title. She thus became only the fifth unseeded player to win a women`s Grand Slam title. And she is the second unseeded player this year to achieve this feat after Latvia`s Jelena Ostapenko, who won the French Open earlier this year.

The previous unseeded player to win the US Open was Belgian legend  Kim Clijsters, who came back from retirement to win the 2009 title.

Entering the match on the back of 14th victory in her past 16 matches, Stephens dominated the proceedings from the word go, breaking her opponent at the first opportunity, in the fifth game. She won the set 6-3, then she bageled her Keys in the second set to script history.

Both the players fought off injuries to reach the title showdown, but it was Stephens who showed more composure. 83rd-ranked player also benefitted from the series of unforced errors from the 15th seeded player.

In all, 22-year-old Keys committed 30 unforced errors as against Stephens' six. Keys had more winners, 18 to Stephens's 10, but those unforced error were too enormous to be covered by any number of winners.

Keys also had three double faults to Stephens's none. Unlike in the previous finals, the match was however low on aces count, with Keys getting the credit for the lone ace tonight.

Stephens slightly enjoyed better service, with 73% and 64% wins in first and second serves respectively. Also, Stephens converted three of 12 break point chances, majority of which came in the second set. Keys got three break point chances in the fifth game, but all wasted. And with that all her hopes of a fightback have gone.

It was the first final set of a US Open women`s championship match where the loser didn`t take a game since Chris Evert beat Evonne Goolagong 6-3, 6-0 in 1976.

Stephens will jump to 17th in Monday`s WTA rankings. She also took home a $3.7 million (3.07 million euros) prize money. Keys, the runners up, will take home $1.825 million and, she will rise to 12th in the latest ranking.

Strangely for womnen's tennis, which is seeing a transition period,  neither of the players had ever reached a Grand Slam final before. This is only the seventh time, and second in three years, in the Open Era that two first-timers contested for a women`s title.

In 2015, Flavia Pennetta beat Roberta Vinci in all-Italian final.