(Photo: Volkan Furuncu Anadolu Agency Getty Images)
You may not know who Sloane Stephens is, but you should. On Saturday Sep. 9, Stephens became the first unseeded player to win the US Open since 2009. She triumphed over fellow American and long-time friend, Madison Keys after both advanced from the first all-American semifinals round of the tournament since 2002 when the legendary Williams sisters duked it out for the title.
Stephens beat Venus Williams in the semifinals to advance to her first open finals appearance. At 24 years old, Stephens won her first major title after coming off a foot injury that prevented her from running. In the short four months from May to now, Stephens has risen from being ranked 957th, and unknown, to number 17 in the world.
Stephans’ other accolades include being the first American not named Williams to win a Grand Slam singles title since 2002, and making only six unforced errors the entire match (compared to Keys who made 30).
Expect to see Stephens and Keys in other Grand Slam title matches throughout the next several years along with CoCo Vandeweghe, who was Keys’ semifinals opponent.