Unseeded Sloane Stephens completed a spectacular return from injury by beating fellow American Madison Keys to win the US Open at Flushing Meadows saturday.
Stephens, ranked 83rd, beat 15th seed Keys 6-3 6-0 in the final.
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.
She becomes only the fifth unseeded woman to win a major title in the Open era.
Both women were making their Grand Slam final debuts, and their combined ranking of 99 was the lowest for a US Open final since the rankings began.
Close friends since childhood, they shared a long hug at the net after Keys netted a forehand on the third match point, and Stephens then headed into the crowd to embrace her mother.
“I had surgery in January and if someone had told me then that I would win the US Open, I would have said it was impossible,” said Stephens.
“This journey has been incredible and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
“Madison is one of my best friends on tour. I wouldn’t have wanted to play anyone else. I told her that I wished it could have been a draw.”
Keys said: “Sloane is truly one of my favourite people and to play against her was special. I obviously didn’t play my best tennis and Sloane was very supportive.
“If I’m going to lose to anyone today, I’m glad it’s to her.”
The first American woman from outside the Williams family to win a major singles title since Jennifer Capriati at the 2002 Australian Open, Stephens collected £2.84m in prize money.
Keys, 22, had played superbly to win her semi-final against Coco Vandeweghe, making 24 winners to just nine errors and moving to the top of the aces chart with a display of controlled power.
Stephens had come through a far more tense encounter against Venus Williams, with her athletic defensive skills all the more remarkable as her foot had been in a protective boot as recently as May.
It was her calm consistency that prevailed in a final that became something of a horror show for Keys.
Over the course of 61 minutes, she made 30 unforced errors to just six from the rock-solid Stephens.
EPL: City Pummel Liverpool, Kante Haunts Leicester Manchester City capitalised on Sadio Mane’s controversial red card to thrash title rivals Liverpool 5-0, while Arsenal eased the pressure on Arsene Wenger with a vital 3-0 victory over Bournemouth saturday.
City goalkeeper Ederson was stretchered off in a neck brace after being caught in the face by Mane’s boot as he raced out to head the ball away, with the Liverpool winger dismissed for the clash late in the first half at Eastlands.
City already led 1-0 through Sergio Aguero’s opener at that point and braces from Gabriel Jesus and substitute Leroy Sane completed City’s biggest win over Liverpool since 1937.
City are unbeaten in 12 Premier League games, their best run under Guardiola, while Argentina striker Aguero is now the outright leading non-European goalscorer in Premier League history with 124 goals.
With Liverpool having avoided defeat against their top-six rivals last season, it was the first time Jurgen Klopp’s side had lost to one of their principal adversaries since a 1-0 loss at home to Manchester United in January 2016.
Meanwhile, Chelsea survived a tense finish as the champions made it three successive wins with a 2-1 success at Leicester.
Antonio Conte’s side took the lead through Alvaro Morata’s third goal for Chelsea as the Spain striker peeled away from Wes Morgan to meet Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross with a bullet header in the 41st minute.
N’Golo Kante was a key member of Leicester’s title-winning team two years ago and the Chelsea midfielder returned to haunt his old club with a 50th minute long-range strike.
Jamie Vardy gave Leicester hope in the 62nd minute when the England striker was brought down by Thibaut Courtois and picked himself up to drive home the resulting penalty.