Unseeded Sloane Stephens completed a spectacular return from injury by beating fellow American Madison Keys to win the 2017 US Open title.
In the first All-American final since the Williams sisters played each other for the title in 2002, Stephens ran riot to win 6-3 6-0 in a surprisingly one-sided encounter on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The 83rd-ranked Stephens joins 2009 champion Kim Clijsters as the only unseeded US Open women’s champions in the Open era, which dates to 1968.
The 24-year-old was ranked as low as 957th six weeks ago, having only returned from 11 months out with a foot injury at Wimbledon.
Keys, playing with her right thigh heavily strapped, made 30 unforced errors, as a clinical Stephens, who made just six errors in the entire match, closed out the contest in just 61 minutes and become the fifth lowest-ranked woman to win a Grand Slam title in the Open era.
“It’s incredible,” said Stephens. “If someone told me when I had surgery that I would win the US Open, it’s impossible I would say. Coming back, just being able to keep it all together, this journey’s been incredible and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
“I should just retire now. I told Maddie I’m never going to top this. Things just have to come together and the last five or six weeks they really have.
“I just have to say thanks to my team because in the toughest times we stuck together. This one’s for all of us.”
Stephens is also the first American woman from outside the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, to win a major singles title since Jennifer Capriati at the 2002 Australian Open. She walks away with a winning purse worth £2.84m.