*Flushing, New York – Sloane Stephens has done the unthinkable. She came back from a months long injury layoff and won her first Grand Slam at the 2017 US Open.

Not only did she win it, but she won it in convincing fashion, 6-3, 6-0, against her otherwise capable friend and “sister,” Madison Keys.

Sloane was as cool as a cucumber from the start, while Madison Keys never found her nerve or footing. There was a great deal of pressure on both of the ladies, but Sloane was just more capable of rising to the occasion. She did what she came to do.

The match went pretty quickly, despite Madison’s last ditch effort to find the court and her game. But it was too little, too late … Sloane was locked in and determined to hoist the trophy. She wasn’t going to be denied.

There will be other opportunities for Madison, but on this day it was Sloane’s time to shine and she lived up to the lofty expectations she had earned this fortnight. Serena Williams rose her head from motherhood for a second to express her sentiments about the matchup:

serena tweet re sloane stephens

And Serena has held black women and the USA down 24 times to date, but somehow I feel Sloane’s unforeseen win will do something extra special for the game of tennis as it relates to people of color, in terms of this new generation. There will be a surge of interest in tennis by little black girls, I predict, and the sport will be all the more better for it.

Sloane punctuated the win with heartfelt sportsmanship by showing extreme deference to a dejected Madison, her best friend, and a long, tearful embrace with her mother. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. AND she earned $3.7 million dollars, too, which ain’t too shabby, either.

Congratulations, Sloane Stephens, you won not only the match and money tonight, but also respect and hearts around the world.