Here's new mom Serena Williams' message for Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys

Here's new mom Serena Williams' message for Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys

Sloane Stephens may have raised the US Open trophy on Saturday with her annihilation of Madison Keys however American tennis was the enormous victor at the year's last great hammer. That's what I remember most about the picture.

For Keys, this year's US Open was just her 10th tournament of 2017. That's meaning all four semifinalists being from the United States. It's a long time.

However, on Saturday, September 9, tennis fans at the Arthur Ashe Stadium were greeted to an all-American final, the first since Serena and Venus went head to head for the 2002 title in NY.

Stephens then took a commanding lead in the second set as she cruised to her first Grand Slam title in dominant fashion.

SHAPIRO: There's a lot to unpack there.

The final shapes up as an intriguing and unexpected one featuring two players who missed the start of the year as they recovered from injuries.

When it was over, the two embraced at the net nearly as long as the second set lasted. What does this moment mean for the legacy of the Williams sisters?

In the same year, Stephens reached the quarter-final of Wimbledon. Asked in a rollicking news conference if the title had fed her hunger for another, she wisecracked, "Of course, girl. It hasn't sunk in yet, but hopefully in a little while once I am able to lay down and relax and think about it, I'll realise that I really am the US Open champion".

"When I had surgery, I was not thinking that I would be anywhere near a U.S. Open title", she said. She never gave up.

Nadal and Del Potro ready to deliver semis fireworks
However, It is not impossible for him to become number one, with a number of tournaments still to go before the end of the year. Top seed Rafael Nadal produced a breathtaking performance as he rallied to beat Juan Martin del Potro in the US Open semifinals.

Stephens missed almost a year after injuring her left foot after the Olympics. It would just set so many different records that it would be outrageous. "I didn't have anything to do", she said, noting she wasn't planning on buying a auto.

"Also, we have a pack of young fellows who are directly behind them". She had major foot problems. Just when she needed it the most, the world number 83 played some phenomenal defense to break one of her role models and rolled into the final.

"Obviously my whole life my mum has been very supportive", said Stephens.

"Madison is one of my best friends on tour".

"If you told me two months ago that I'd be holding a (runner-up) trophy for the US Open, I'd be really happy and proud of myself", Keys said. I don't think I'm going to make it.

It would be Stephens who prevailed in the battle of the ladies who were touted as "America's Next Hope" in women's tennis, 6-3, 6-0.

But the good news far outweighed the bad from the USTA's perspective. "If someone told me then that I'd win the US Open, 'It's impossible, ' I would say". And these careers now, Ari, are lasting longer and longer.

"Talk about a comeback, honestly I don't even know what to say". And so Sam Querrey's in his late 20s and playing the best tennis he's ever played.