US Open champion Sloane Stephens is more motivated than ever to win another grand slam - thanks to the $3.7million she received for her success in NY.
Stephens actually hit fewer winners than Keys overall but only had six unforced errors, significantly less than Keys' final tally of 30.
She needed just 61 minutes to dispatch Keys, with whom she shared a warm embrace after completing one of the most improbable grand slam triumphs.
Her ranking slipped into the 900s in July and Stephens said her major success came as a huge shock.
"She's someone who I know is always there watching and she'll text me no matter what". She played a stupendous tournament, one that is no less surprising that Stephens', to make her first Slam final.
Asked if that felt like a turning point, Stephens said: "Yeah, and then the next two points, and the next game I played incredible".
The second set was the first inverted, with Venus coming alive and handily taking down Stephens, 6-0.
"She's been playing really good", Araya said of Keys before the match. I don't know how I got here.
"I'm a real fighter, I have a lot of grit".
"It's incredible. I honestly had surgery Jan 23 and if someone had told me I'd win the U.S. Open I would have said it's impossible", said the unseeded Stephens who, after celebrating, sat down and chatted with Keys.
With the US Open title under her belt, Stephens will climb back from just inside the top 1000 to World No. 17 in the span of 5 weeks! "I was fighting as hard as I could, as long as I could, but she stayed hot the whole time".
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