Nadal, seeking 16th major title, meets Anderson at US Open
Sep 11 2017
They texted and spoke on the phone early in 2017, when both sat out the Australian Open because of injuries - Keys had surgery on her left wrist during the offseason, then again in June.
Stephens, who defeated Venus Williams in the semi-finals, brushed aside compatriot and good friend Madison Keys 6-3 6-0 to win the title at Flushing Meadows.
Game. Sloane Stephens has got it. She's been here. She's represented the game so well as an African-American woman.
And before the Williams sisters there was Ashe, the victor of three Grand Slam titles.
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.
Keys, playing with her right thigh heavily strapped, made 30 unforced errors, as a clinical Stephens, who made just six errors in the entire match, closed out the contest in just 61 minutes and become the fifth lowest-ranked woman to win a Grand Slam title in the Open era.
"I should just retire now", Stephens said.
When Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys walked onto Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday for their US Open final they passed by a small but weighty notice stamped on the court: "Arthur Ashe Stadium 20 Years". Asked before the final if the underdog had a chance at winning the U.S. Open, her coach Kamau Murray told Inside Tennis, "You know what, if she steps up and takes it, I think she can". It proved to be a pivotal and motivating move for more reasons than one. "Obviously I didn't play my best tennis today and was disappointed", Keys said.
"When I thought about it afterwards one of the disappointments was that I wasn't able to play better, I wasn't really at my best". She will play in the women's doubles final on Sunday, with Chan's sister as her partner.
Stephens held comfortably and bagged the set on her second occasion, Keys hitting a backhand long, her 17th unforced error - compared to Stephens's only two.
She added that she had indeed been invited to the celebration, but was looking for something more.
Oh, and the trophy got her pretty excited too. Once the 86 year-old was stabilized, Stephens rushed to France to compete without the time to prepare properly and subsequently sustained a stress fracture in her foot that would require surgery and rehabilitation and keep her off the court for 11 months.
"Bad for her? She was in the finals, too", Stephens said. And if Stephens, Keys and Vandeweghe have anything to say about it, that number should only grow.
Many are speculating that the aging Williams sisters will soon depart tennis in a few years, leaving a crater in the sport. The only younger Grand Slam girls' champions were Martina Hingis, who won the 1993 French Open at 12, and Jennifer Capriati, who was 13 years, 3 months when she won the 1989 French Open. Venus continues to play at top form through illness.
There are also signs of a changing of the guard in women's tennis. Stephens now sets herself up as one of the only real competitors capable of consistently stopping Serena since Venus Williams was at the top of her game.