Serena Williams begins US Open with a convincing singles win over Sloane Stephens
World number four Serena Williams won a record-equalling 17th Grand Slam singles title by defeating number 17-ranked Sloane Stephens in the final of the US Open on Saturday by 9-7, 7-6, 6-4.
Serena Williams began her winning streak on Sunday
Williams, who had won the previous three US Open titles in 2009 and 2013, will be the first American woman to win the title in 13 different years.
‘I’m so happy for her, she can’t be on a higher note,’ Williams commented. ‘We are both here to win, and it just so happened that, we had been training very well together.’
Williams said she was very thankful to be able to compete at the prestigious event in the first week of September, adding: ‘We have to have a great week because the draw is awesome on the last day in September.’
Stephens, 22, began her reign at the highest level of the sport with her first title when she defeated Karolína Plíšková 6-3, 6-4 in the all-Williams final in 2013. This year she had to reach the final for the first time.
World number one and third seed Williams came out in the opening set of her final match, winning six of the eight points. She was broken in the ninth game of the third set and eventually gave way to her opponent, winning five straight games to take the set and the third set.
It was an unusual match for two reasons. It was the first time Williams had challenged Stephens on the court since her breakthrough victory in 2012. The first point on court went to Williams, serving at 5-4, after which two of Stephens’ three service games were out of bounds.
When the match resumed, Williams served for the set and break at 3-3, and broke Stephens twice to take the set. Stephens’ comeback after her earlier loss to Williams, her first match point in the final of a Grand Slam tournament since the 2017 US Open, came as a real surprise, as she managed to keep her hopes alive despite Williams leading