BY ABAYOMI JOHNSON
Sloane Stephens is over the moon after winning the US Open title on Saturday, which she described as her best day ever.
The American took to Twitter to celebrate the feat on Monday, two days after 6-3 6-0 trouncing of fellow American Madison Keys in the final.
BEST. DAY. EVER. ??????,” stated the 24-year-old who lifted her first grand slam trophy on home soil and, collecting a cheque for 3.7million US dollars (£2.8million).
Meanwhile, Stephens has been showered with praise by her coach, Kamau Murray, who had a message for his charge when she called him five months ago – “Let me know when you can walk.”
“I was surprised,” said Murray. “That’s a nerve-wracking experience to walk out there. But I thought she handled it well.
“To her credit she spoke up the night before and in the gym, ‘Wow guys, I’m a little nervous, but let’s go do this’. I think her evolution as a person is to communicate very clearly and honestly.
“I think she has remained positive throughout the process. You get the game taken away from you and then you come back, you start to appreciate it more.
“She legitimately loves to play tennis. She would call me, and she was all, ‘I can’t wait to get back on the court’. I was like, ‘Really? I’m enjoying my kids now, let me know when you can walk’.”
Stephens, who was not allowed to put any weight on her foot for 16 weeks following surgery, earlier reflected on her triumph thus:
“A lot of life has happened, a lot of good things and bad things have happened.
“Every time you do something big it’s going to be different, so I’m sure now that I’ve won a grand slam things are going to be way different than making the semi-finals like I did before. I’m ready and prepared and I think my team and everyone around is excited.
“I’m not going to change much, I’m going to try and keep everything like I have before. Obviously there’s going to be more responsibilities and a lot of other things I have to do.
“There’s always going to be struggles. I’m adding a lot more to my life. I’m sure there will be some ups and downs and some tough times. I’m actually looking forward to it. It will be challenging but super fun.”
Stephens began hitting tennis balls sitting on a chair. Two months after her first tournament back, she won the US Open.