US Open champion Sloane Stephens admits she may never surpass her happiness at winning an improbable first grand slam title at Flushing Meadows on Saturday.
Stephens, whose world ranking slipped to No957 earlier this summer following a lengthy injury absence, swept aside fellow American and close friend Madison Keys 6-3, 6-0 in the final.
“I had surgery on 23 January and if someone had told me then that I’d be the US Open champion, I would have said that would be impossible,” said the 24-year-old, only the fifth unseeded woman to win a Major in the Open era.
“This journey has been incredible and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I should just retire now. I told Maddie [Keys] I’m never going to top this. Things just have to come together and in the last five or six weeks they really have.”
Stephens returned to the circuit less than three months ago at Wimbledon after needing 11 months off to recover from a stress fracture to her right foot.
Murray and Hingis claim second slam
Britain’s Jamie Murray, meanwhile, is hoping to prolong his partnership with Martina Hingis after they won the US Open mixed doubles title.
Their success in New York – a 6-1, 4-6, (10-8) win over Chan Hao-Ching and Michael Venus – followed their victory at Wimbledon, where they first teamed up, and means they remain unbeaten in 10 matches.
Hingis, 36, has stopped short of committing to aiming for a third mixed doubles Major in a row at the Australian Open in January and hinted that she may retire.
“It’s been a lot of fun for me and a great opportunity to compete with Martina,” said Murray. “She’s such a great player, a huge champion of the game. Hopefully we’ll play more.”