The Runner Sports

Sloane Stephens Conquers US Open, Wins First Grand Slam Title

Determination, passion, and belief. These are the aspects you need to instill in yourself if you want to be a Grand Slam champion. Saturday afternoon, Sloane Stephens used these aspects to win her first Grand Slam over compatriot and friend Madison Keys 6-3, 6-0. It was a Cinderella-ending for Stephens, who just returned to tennis at Wimbledon. This US Open was full of upsets, history-making, and inspiration, and Stephens had a part in everything.

Stephens’ comeback did not start amazingly. First round losses at Wimbledon and in Washington D.C. put a dent in her move up the rankings, but Stephens had the determination to make it back to the level she knew she could play. Back-to-back semifinal results in Toronto and Cincinnati elevated Stephens back into the top 100, securing a place in the US Open. Wins over Dominika Cibulkova and Venus Williams also gave her the confidence that she needed. Of course, Stephens has always had the passion.

One should note that Stephens was destined for Grand Slam success. Getting to No. 5 on the junior rankings and winning three junior Grand Slam doubles titles primed her for the pros. The passion has always been there. That passion is what got her through the dark times like when she was recovering from her left foot injury. The passion is what also got her through those two losses before the big breakthrough. Taking everything as it comes and moving on to the next thing because that is her job, this is how she lives, and she would not want it any other way, that’s passion.

Experts knew Stephens had the belief when she beat Serena Williams at the Australian Open. Now, Stephens believes she can beat anyone out there because she’s done it before. So far, Stephens has beaten Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber, and Venus, all multiple Grand Slam champions, and the year isn’t over yet. It doesn’t matter whether you have the talent or not if you do not believe you can beat the other player. While belief is something not everyone has naturally, it is also an obtainable trait, and Stephens got it.

Stephens believed she could win the US Open, and that is why she won it. Coming in ranked No. 83, Stephens becomes the first unseeded Slam winner since 2009 when Kim Clijsters won the US Open as an unranked wild card. For Keys, this is a heavy loss, but with the talent and belief that she too possesses, she will definitely be lifting a few Grand Slams in the future. But it’s an amazing result for Stephens who wins the first all-American US Open final since 2002. Only time will tell how both these players move on from this moment, but for now, the present is good.

Conrad Ellis

Conrad Ellis

Stevenson University graduate, class of 2016
Played tennis for 14 years and counting, favorite shot is forehand
Conrad Ellis