America's Sloane Stephens clinches first WTA title in four years
American tennis ace Sloane Stephens on Monday won her first WTA title since 2018. The number 6 seed won the Akron Zapopan crown by defeating Czech Republic's Marie Bouzkova in a three-set thriller 7-5, 1-6, 6-2. This is Stephens' seventh overall WTA title in the singles. Meanwhile, American and Belarus' pair of Kaitlyn Christian and Lidziya Marozava captured the doubles title. Here's more.
Why does this story matter?
With this, Stephens has ended her four-year title drought in the WTA circuit. The 28-year-old had won the first six WTA finals of her career on the trot. She is also a former US Open Champion and has won Miami Open in 2018. However, her form has taken a dip in recent years and it seems like a perfect way to revamp her career.
Key stats from the match
Stephens hammered four aces, one more than Marie Bouzkova. The American did not record a double fault, while her rival did the same five times. Stephens won 56% points on the first serve and 92% points on the second serve. Bouzkova, meanwhile, won 63% points on the first serve and 63% on the second serve. Stephens won four breakpoints while Bouzkova managed three.
Stephens on her first WTA title in four years
"It's the beginning of the season, so there's still a lot of tennis to be played, but I'm excited to be able to put some matches together," Stephens said. "Excited that I was able to do that, get a title, and hopefully carry the momentum forward," she added. Stephens further said that she focused on her training last year, which is paying off.
A look at Stephens' career
Stephens has won seven WTA titles in her career - 2018 Miami Open, 2017 US Open, 2016 Auckland Open, 2016 Acapulco, 2016 Charleston, 2015 Washington DC, and 2022 Akron Zapopan title. She has finished the runner-up thrice - 2018 Roland Garros, 2018 Montreal, and 2018 WTA Finals. She was also a member of America's 2012-14 Fed Cup team and 2016 US Olympic team.Share this timeline