Sloane Stephens Beats Venus Williams, Headed to the US Open Finals

Sloane Stephens is slaying the court as her swift rise to the top continues. In less than a month, the 24-year-old tennis player has managed to jump up in world rankings by 900 spots. And on Thursday, she became the victor in a match between her and idol 37-year-old Venus Williams (No. 9 in world ranking) in her first major final.

At the US Open held at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, Stephens defeated Williams 6-1, 0-6, 7-5 – edging out the competition with a mere two points. “I have no words to describe what I’m feeling,” she said after the win. “What it took to get here, just the journey I’ve been on. I have no words.”

With her win, Stephens guaranteed herself a spot in the US Open final alongside comrade and fellow tennis champ Madison Keys. Keys, who ranks as No. 15 in the world, will also be her next opponent. It is the first major final for both women.

This year is the first time since 1981 that four American women have reached the US Open semifinals. It is also the first US Open final with American women opposing one another for the title since 2002. In 2002, that feat was accomplished by the Williams sisters who competed against one another. There, Serena defeated Venus.

Stephens has played against Keys once before where she was the victor. Hopefully, she can reel in a victory once again.

Since reentering the world of tennis, Stephens has been the epitome of comeback kid. Stephens was previously sidelined for eleven months after enduring a foot injury and undergoing surgery. However, the athlete proved you can’t keep a good player down and came back for Wimbledon before entering this past summer’s US Open Series.

Back then, Stephens ranked at a mere 957 in the game. But after reaching semifinals in Cincinnati and Toronto, and yesterday’s semifinal where she beat Williams – Stephens has accomplished a W in 13 of her past 15 matches. Upon playing at the US Open semifinals, she had moved up in rank to No. 83.

Now that she has reached the final, her projected rise is estimated to land at No. 22. “When I started my comeback, if someone told me I was going to make two semis and a grand slam final, I just would have probably just passed out because that’s what I’m ready to do now,” Stephens continued. “It’s incredible. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know how I got here. Just hard work. That’s it.”

Photo Credit: Getty

Sheriden Chanel is a twenty-something writer, Beyoncé enthusiast, and lover of all things visual art. Keep up with her and her musings on social via @indiebyline.