Sloane Stephens won Saturday’s U.S. Open final in dominant fashion, beating close friend Madison Keys 6-3, 6-0 for the trophy. In doing so, Stephens became the first U.S. women’s player other than Venus or Serena Williams to win the event since 1998.
Praise for the 24-year-old Stephens, who had missed 11 months due to foot surgery, was abundant on social media.
Many focused their attention not just on the win, but on a few humorous and good-natured moments in the aftermath. Among them: a long hug between Keys and Stephens, and their reaction to Stephens’s $3.7 million winner’s check.
An ESPN video of post-tournament ceremonies shows Stephens – Keys by her side – accepting the check.
“That’s a lot of money,” Stephens says in the video.
“I’ll hold it for her,” Keys says twice, playfully beginning to grab the check away. Both players and the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium break out laughing before Stephens accepts the check with an emotive, “wow.”
And as Stephens posed for photos mid-court with the trophy above her head, the lid fell off, leading to more smiles.
Here’s what Twitter had to say about Stephens, the win and the good sportsmanship with runner-up Keys.