Sloane Stephens: The comeback queen

And before the Williams sisters there was Ashe, the victor of three grand slam titles. Her father left the family home when she was a toddler but they were reconciled many years later before he was killed in a vehicle accident in 2009.

Sloane Stephens defeated Madison Keys to win her first grand slam title at the US Open.

"I'm not just going to let them take it from me". I think one day I'm going to be able to show my kids that I won the US Open.

"Once I kind of let that go and just realized that whatever is meant to be is going to be, I worked hard to get here...."

It was 60 years ago that Althea Gibson won her first U.S. Open and 20 since the biggest stage in tennis was renamed to honour Arthur Ashe, the player, humanitarian and activist.

It's a determination bred in frustration after being forced to watch the Australian Open from her couch unable to walk after surgery in January. "She can buy me drinks, all of the drinks", smiled Keys, when asked if she would celebrate with Stephens. In the subsequent 27 years, just nine Americans have made at least one Grand Slam final.

Played her first WTA main draw events in 2010.

This was only the second time in the Open era that two women were making their Grand Slam final debuts against each other in NY.

"It was nice that we got it right for the two weeks, and I came out with the title", said Stephens.

Quickly after the winning point, Stephens raced to the net and grabbed Keys in a long embrace, a touching moment in front of 23,000 fans.

Both players had a delayed start to the their season with Keys starting to play in March because of a wrist injury, and Stephens sitting out 11 months wearing a cast on her foot and returning for Wimbledon.

"I didn't play my best tennis today".

Two years later, the now 19-year-old Black is working as a tennis coach in Florida to support her ailing mother and tennis-playing younger sister, Hurricane Tyra Black. "She can buy me drinks, all of the drinks". The numbers ended on six and 30, and they demonstrated how Stephens ignored the circumstances to access her utmost form of demanding defense, while Keys couldn't do the same to pursue her customary attack.

Saying earlier she was simply happy to be running around on courts, Stephens did a lot of running on Saturday to deny the 22-year-old Keys in what turned out to be a one-sided contest.

  • Julie Sanders