Tennis pro Sloane Stephens already solidified her reputation last week when she became one of three African-American women to reach the U.S. Open women’s singles semi-finals. But she entered the history books with her finals victory on Saturday (September 9) against Madison Keys, becoming the first Black woman since the Williams sisters to win the Open.
BEST. DAY. EVER. pic.twitter.com/R8ARc09Qwb— Sloane Stephens (@SloaneStephens) September 10, 2017
ESPN’s brackets show that Stephens beat Keys, who has a Black father and White mother, in only two sets to win the trophy. Stephens beat Venus Williams on Thursday (September 7) to secure her finals place, and her match against Keys marked the first time that two Black women who weren’t Venus or her sister Serena competed in the U.S. Open finals. The Williams sisters competed in the annual competition’s 2002 finals, which Serena won, and she went on to win again in 2014. She did not compete this year, as her first child was born earlier this month.
Fans celebrated Stephens’ win on social media, with many praising her #BlackGirlMagic and some pointing to a humorous press conference moment in which she lovingly acknowledged the prize money, which The New York Times values at $3.7 million. Here are some of our favorites from the Twitter celebration:
YANBLAZE) September 10, 2017
Sloane Stephens doesn’t have to be “the next Serena Williams.” She can be the first Sloane and that’s good too. Happy for both of them.— Trudy (@thetrudz) September 10, 2017
J.R. (@JDotRasTaa) September 10, 2017