2017 Year in Review:
Stephens wins US Open
Sally Milano | December 19, 2017
Less than a year after foot surgery and playing in only her fifth tournament since her return to the tour, Sloane Stephens staged one of the most improbable runs to a US Open women's singles title in the tournament's history.
Stephens, who had reached the Australian Open semifinals in 2013 and was ranked as high as No. 11 that year, had been sidelined for 11 months with a severe foot injury that required surgery in January. The 24-year-old began training in May, returned to the tour at Wimbledon and had played just four tournaments leading up to the US Open. During her comeback, Stephens reached semifinals at both Toronto and Cincinnati, and her ranking had skyrocketed from No. 957 to No. 83.
While Stephens was a clear threat heading into New York, nobody expected her to win the title. But out of the gate, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native knocked out 2015 finalist Roberta Vinci, 7-5, 6-1, in the opening round. ADVERTISEMENT She then went on to beat five seeded opponents en route to the title – No. 11 Dominika Cibulkova, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, in the second round; No. 30 Julia Goerges, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, in the fourth round; No. 16 Anastasija Sevastova, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (4), in the quarterfinals; No. 9 Venus Williams, 6-1, 0-6, 7-5, in the semifinals; and No. 15 Madison Keys, 6-3, 6-0, in the final.
By all accounts, Stephens' run to the title was an improbable one. Even to the Grand Slam champion herself.
“I should just retire now,” Stephens said following the women's final. “I told Maddie (2017 US Open runner-up Madison Keys) I’m never going to be able to top this. I mean, talk about a comeback.”