Match Points, Highlights of the 2017 US Open: Super Sloane wins first Slam title

The 2017 US Open is in the books and it has been another memorable Slam after Sloane Stephens continued her extraordinary comeback from foot surgery to win her first Slam title. This post brings together the highlights from the tournament including a recap of the final and links to memorable matches, points, media and plenty more. All previous Match Points tournament summaries from 2016 and 2017 can be found HERE. Read on for the best bits from New York…
Match Points

Singles Champion

Sloane Stephens defeated Madison Keys, 6-3 6-0 in Saturday’s US Open final –  tactically, this was an impeccable display from Stephens who was rock solid, making just SIX unforced errors! As the match wore on, Stephens grew in confidence, nailing passing shot winners and even making her own forays into the net, going four out of four.

It was a tough day for Keys who didn’t play her best – a lot of that came down to how well Stephens played and she gave barely anything away, forcing Keys to go for more and more. Keys tried everything at the end, but just couldn’t win that elusive game in the second set. Stephens won all the big points and came through for the win in just 61 minutes.

For Sloane, the sky is the limit – her defence and ability to chase down balls has been a huge factor in this tournament, but she can crank up the power if necessary. Her consistency and clutchness in the key moments since she came back has been pretty astonishing. Big congrats, Sloane!

The hug at the end was EVERYTHING.

Singles Trophy Ceremony

The trophy ceremony was one of my favourite for a long time! There were some incredibly moving moments, especially when Sloane talked about her mum and with Madison fighting back the tears to deliver her speech. Plenty of laughs too as you can see from the pics below. Moments like this validate even more why I love this sport so much.

Doubles Champions

Martina Hingis and Chan Yung-Jan won their first Slam as a pair, beating Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova in Sunday’s final, 6-3 6-2.

Super Stat

This was an amazing tournament for the US women.

Comeback Kids

There have been so many incredible comeback stories on the WTA tour (see thread by Courtney below on Twitter below which I loved). In particular, this year’s US Open finalists have been through it all injury-wise – Stephens was sidelined for almost a year with a foot injury between August 2016 and July 2017, while Keys has had two surgeries on her wrist (November 2016 & June 2017).

I’m lost for words at what both Sloane and Madison have achieved during this summer.

Memorable Matches

Simona Halep vs. Maria Sharapova was the taking point of the US Open draw. Their first round clash under the lights didn’t disappoint with Sharapova prevailing, 6-4 4-6 6-3 in a three set thriller lasting two hours and 44 minutes.

Adding another stunner to their already glittering head-to-head, Venus Williams edged Petra Kvitova, 6-3 3-6 7-6(2) in the quarter-finals. The pair have played six times on tour with all six matches going the distance.

Best Points

Loved this net exchange between Venus Williams and Carla Suárez Navarro during the third set of their fourth round match.

Fun tennis in a very entertaining third rounder between Agnieszka Radwanska and CoCo Vandeweghe.

Amazing point in the Sharapova-Kenin late night match on Ashe.

And again, incredible defence from Sharapova although Anastasija Sevastova would eventually get the better of her in a quality fourth rounder.

Even more so looking back now, this was a huge point with Sloane Stephens serving at *4-5 *30-30 in her semi-final against Venus Williams.

Super Sportsmanship

Leading with the final embrace between Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys 😍 😭

Shelby has previously said that she is a hugger! In particular, a nice moment between Shelby Rogers and Daria Gavrilova after the longest women’s singles match ever at the US Open.

Nice to see this exchange between Keys and Vesnina after one of the latest ever finishes at the US Open, only bested by Keys’s three set win over Alison Riske last year.

It’s a Keys special! Nice moment after the semi-final.

LOL Moment

Plenty of funny moments this year – if you haven’t seen Sloane Stephens’s final press conference then check it out at the link below.

I’m still laughing at this! 😂😂😂

The screencap below makes me laugh. Jennifer Brady was thankfully fine and even smiling!

Oh Taylor! Love her reaction.

Press Conference

Really enjoyed this press conference with Petra Kvitova after her third round win over Caroline Garcia.

Podcast

Always enjoy listening to Madison Keys – laughed at how she recalled getting Lindsay to prepare a speech to settle nerves before her quarter-final match against Kaia Kanepi.

Favourite Article

Awesome to share another guest post this tournament – thanks to Dan for writing about his day at the US Open.

Tennis Draw Challenge Champion

Congratulations to tfw200 who won the Draw Challenge for the US Open. After a decent Wimby, this was a shocker of a US for me – it’s not ideal when your champ goes out on the first day 😂😂😂. To join in the fun, you can enter Tennis Draw Challenge and join the Moo’s Tennis Blog league.

Update – I’ll be taking a few weeks off to get the blog ready for the final tournaments of the year and then on holidays (yayyy). Aim is to be back for Wuhan…

Follow Moo’s Tennis Blog on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Feature Photo by Omar Boraby

29 thoughts on “Match Points, Highlights of the 2017 US Open: Super Sloane wins first Slam title

  1. Have to say I disagree with you… I don’t think Stephens even got out of second gear aside from a couple shots, all she needed to do was put balls back and she wasn’t even hitting with much depth or power. I counted one really good rally in the entire match.
    Keys better Pray for another Slam final opportunity because that was pathetic…

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    • I counted more than one good rally in the final game alone! Madison seemed to run out of ideas about how to break down Sloane but “pathetic” is harsh IMO. Madison had a bad day, but she kept battling and should really have won at least one of those games at the end.

      When you take into the account the occasion, I thought Stephens played a great match and I was personally very impressed – so solid and smart, and tactics were spot on.

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      • We’ll have to agree to disagree.
        Bouchard in that Wimbledon beat down in 2014 final was battling. Keys couldn’t even put balls in court for much of the match and only really stayed in rallies when she merely tried to put balls back. I get that people admire her personality and want to root for her, but the girl hit nearly double the amount of unforced errors to her winners.

        Liked by 1 person

    • We had a few good match on this US Open on the women side but this final was a sad joke as it happen too often with the WTA. The winner of this joke will have the same paycheck as the winner on the man side. They should have refunded the spectators for the horrible match and apologize.

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      • Couldn’t disagree more, there have been many fantastic WTA finals this year. Sometimes you get one-sided finals and not every final is going to be a classic. That’s the same with every sport. Interesting that you have focused on the women’s final – should they have refunded the crowd after the Wimbledon men’s final between Federer and Cilic? Still been a great tournament for the women with more than a “few” good matches.

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    • I do think if Keys goes on and works on her consistency we could see her in another final. This final was not unlike the Wimbledon final. Most of you knew once Garbine took the first set from Venus, it was going to be a straights set victory. More so here where you have two very good friends with one ailing from a thigh injury.

      Even Halep came under fire from her loss to Ostapenko even though it was fairly clear Ostapenko was playing some unusual high risk tennis but not suffering much setback. I listened to their pre-match interviews and both american girls gave very complimentary speeches about each other and was glad if the other won. It is in their relationship. We already had 4 of them in the semi-finals…lol there was already a sisterhood going on!

      I wonder if a Pliskova vs Petra final would have been that much different. They are both Czechs and friends. Then again, the number ranking 1 ranking would’ve been on the line..and so on. You had flavia playing Vinci not too long ago, maybe this is the new trend for the USopen.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic women’s singles final, despite the score line, in which although Keys was perhaps not playing quite her best, Stephens still excelled. I happened to look at the BBC comments section on their report about the final and it is unjustifiably full of bitter and miserable stuff. Stephens, and indeed Keys, also seem very able speakers and nice, genuine individuals. (Also, they play pretty much silently, always a further advantage when I watch.. sorry to mention this issue again.)

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      • That’s something I’ve often wondered about. I’m not Maria’s greatest fan but I don’t think she deserved the stick she got when she explained to Larry King (on TV) why she didn’t feel she could be friends with the other players on the tour; she clearly had difficulty “reframing” between the court and the locker room.

        Serena’s said a similar thing; although she does have friends on the tour (like Caro and Vika), she stopped talking to her opponents before she went on court because she felt bad about beating them afterwards.

        Petra (for example) is different. She’s universally regarded as a really nice person but she’s said that once she gets on court, something seems to “take over” and she really wants to win. Look at her facial expression after she’d hit a winner against Genie at their Wimbledon final in 2014, and it wasn’t that of someone you’d want to meet on a dark night.

        I’m not a sports psychologist, and so far the only sense I can make of it all is that we’re all different and what works well for one player on the tour won’t necessarily work for another.

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      • Agreed Graham. Clijsters is probably the only nice girl who has really thrived on tour.
        Even on the men’s side… Nadal, Murray and Djokovic grew up together pretty much and are friends, but none of them is shy to criticise one another. And while Federer is revered for being this proper gentleman, he doesn’t seem particularly friendly with other top players.

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    • I was gutted it wasn’t more competitive but I did enjoy the final and the speeches/sportsmanship were all fantastic. Not surprised about the BBC comments section. I happened to see a few comments on the WTA’s Facebook page and there was a lot of negativity. That’s the internet for you…

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    • I agree, and won’t be reading the BBC comments section if it’s that bad. I only saw the highlights of the match but I did hear it on the radio and it seems that whilst Sloane clearly played superbly and Madi perhaps didn’t play her best tennis that day (was she hampered by her thigh injury?), it was slightly unfair that the final set was a bagel. I was hoping for Madi to get at least one game back at the end and think she deserved to.

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  3. About men’s tennis, I very much liked what Kevin Anderson said in his runner’s up speech last night after he’d lost to Rafa. I can’t recall his exact words, but they were something like “Although we’re the same age, I feel like I’ve been watching you my whole life.”

    I also didn’t realise Kevin was that tall (6′ 8″); he pretty much dwarfs Rafa.

    (BTW, it was another prediction I got right; I didn’t think Kevin would be able to beat Rafa, and he didn’t.)

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  4. Asian notes:
    Bellis def by The Pav (6-4,0-6,4-6) Once again Bellis made to many UFEs on what, for her, should be standard shots. For about the last month Bellis appears to have lost her ability to concentrate. It could be the cameras, but Pav seems to have slimmed down since Eastbourne.
    Lizette Cabrera (Filipino/Aussie–Qualifier–ranked #151) beat Kontaveit 6-0,7-5. Cabrera same age, height , body, and game as Bellis. Cabrera was up 6-0,4-1 before Kontaveit evened the score at 5-5, saving a match point in the process. Kontaveit could not knock Cab off the court with her power shots. Lizette used good pace and very good placement to defeat Kontaveit. Kontaveit was huffing and puffing between points while Cab was breathing normally. Liozette Cabrera someone to watch.

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    • Thanks for the updates, Ziggy. I thought Bellis would beat Pavs and was shocked by that Kontaveit-Cabrera result. I think I had Anett down as draw challenge champ. Both had great years, not so much last month or two.

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  5. Kerber beats Kasatkina 7-6(7-5), 6-3. Both girls played good quality tennis with a lot of rallies, which is my kind of tennis. Kerber was down 0-3 in the first set and came back to win in a tie break. In the second set at 2-2 Kerber was down 0-40 on her serve and showed a lot of mental strength to win the game. Kerber then went on to win the second set and the match. Kerber looked like the 2016 version of Kerber.

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    • Enjoyed what I saw of Kerber-Kasatkina, first set felt like a coin toss. Dasha still backs off too much/seems to lack confidence, but I feel she’s getting there and much more encouraged by her form than earlier in the year. Angie looked decent, impressed how she competed and as you said, saved those BPs in the second set. Her serve was especially good vs. Osaka, had been so shaky when they played at the US.

      Just watched Muguruza-Puig back, first set was solid. Muguruza’s intensity still super high, so tough to break down in extended rallies.

      Only just realised Pliskova-Kerber QF… !!!

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  6. Moo—nice Matterhorn photo.
    I saw where the record for climbing the vertical face of the Matterhorn was 1hr 46min.
    I’ve been looking in the news for a report that The Moo had broken that record, saw nothing………must be a case of poor reporting.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Where’s Aga at the moment? She’s just outside the top ten with a lot of points to defend in Beijing from winning the title last year, and as far as I know she’s not injured so she should be trying to get back into the race for Singapore and for that will need all the points she can get.

    I’d have thought she’d be playing either Guangzhou or Tokyo,. but there’s no sign of her at either.

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  8. Tokyo—Enjoyed the very close Cib vs Woz match. until Cib became injured.
    Wuhan–Bellis vs Barty will be my favorite first round match.
    WTA.com is getting better on its match coverage.

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    • Great news about BB. Really enjoyed Kerber-Pliskova and Woz-Cibulkova today. Muguruza looks in stunning form. Last matches from Tokyo should be interesting. Bellis-Barty was also the standout for me from Wuhan R1.

      Like

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