Sloane Stephens has broken through for her maiden WTA title with a straight sets victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the final of the Citi Open.
Sitting at a table for her post-match conference, the 22-year-old eyed the silverware and asked: “What happens to this.”
Stephens beat Russia’s Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 6-2 in the final of the hard-court tournament in the build-up to the US Open.
“Nothing was rushed. Nothing was given to me. I had to work for everything. It was just nice that all of the hard work and everything I’ve put into it – now I can say that I have a tournament title,” Stephens said. “Everything happens when it’s supposed to happen.”
It was her first final as a pro.
Neither of Sunday’s finalists was seeded; Stephens is ranked 35th, and Pavlyuchenkova is 40th.
Stephens raced to a 3-0 lead within 10 minutes by taking 15 of the first 21 points and never looked back.
She broke Pavlyuchenkova five times while saving five of six break points she faced and compiled an impressive ratio of 20 winners to nine unforced errors.
At her news conference, a reporter mentioned that Stephens has been considered the best women’s tennis player without a title for quite some time.
“Now you’ll have somebody else to talk about,” Stephens replied. “I’m sure there’s someone else, so I will pass that torch on to whoever’s behind me.”