Photo via: Reuters
Sloane Stephens just reminded us all that it’s not about where you start, it’s where you finish.
Today, the 24-year-old won her first Grand Slam title with her U.S. Open final victory against fellow American Madison Keys. Her incredible win comes after an 11-month hiatus due to a foot injury, leaving her ranked as 957th in the world as of last month.
“It’s incredible, I had surgery January 23, if someone told me then I’d win the US Open… it’s absolutely impossible. My journey to get here, coming back, just being able to keep it all together and have such a great team behind me, this journey’s been incredible and I honestly wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Photo credit: Else/ Getty Images
In 5 weeks time, Sloane has moved up over 900 spots to world No. 17. Sloane defeated Keys in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0, making her the “first U.S. women’s player not named Venus or Serena Williams to win the U.S Open since Lindsay Davenport in 1998”, according to ESPN. She is also now the second unseeded woman to win the U.S. Open in the open era.
“I’m a real fighter, that I have a lot of grit. I don’t give up,” Stephens said. “I’m not just going to let them take it from me. I’m going to make sure I give everything I have, and I leave everything on the court at all times, no matter what.”
That’s what you call a comeback! Congratulations, Sloane! Your passion, talent and determination is an inspiration to us all!