Stephens only returned to the tour at Wimbledon after missing 11 months having undergone left foot surgery.Her world ranking slid to 957 before semi-final runs at US Open tuneups in Toronto and Cincinnati.“I had surgery on January 23 and if someone had told me then that I would be the US Open champion, I would have said that would be impossible,” said Stephens.“My journey to get here, I wouldn’t change it for the world.“I should retire now — I’m never going to be able top this.”ADVERTISEMENT Both women embraced at the net before sitting next to each other courtside as they waited for the post-match ceremony to start.“Maddy is one of my best friends, if not my best friend on tour and I told her I would not have wanted to play anybody else,” said the 24-year-old.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“It’s a special moment. I said to her that I wished it could have been a draw.“If the situation was the other way around, Maddy would have said the same thing. It’s incredible. It’s what true friendship is all about.” Winning start Break new ground MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES Learning about the ‘Ring of Fire’ Sloane Stephens (L) of the US embraces compatriot Madison Keys after winning during their 2017 US Open Women’s Singles final match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 9, 2017.Sloane Stephens, sidelined for 11 months by a left foot injury until returning in July, captured her first Grand Slam title by routing fellow American Madison Keys 6-3, 6-0 in Saturday’s US Open final. / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMADUS Open champion Sloane Stephens said she wished her US Open final triumph over close friend Madison Keys could have been a draw rather than the rout it turned out to be.Stephens, the world number 83, raced to a 6-3, 6-0 victory over her 15th seeded American compatriot in just over an hour.ADVERTISEMENT Evacuated Miami Dolphins arrive in LA for extended stay A costly, catty dispute finally settled Stephens also praised her mother for her support.“When I was a child she took me to a tennis coach who said that I would be lucky to be a division two player.“But here I am. So parents never give up on your kids.”Keys too had fought injury battles in recent months, undergoing a second left wrist surgery after the French Open before winning a July title at Stanford.“I didn’t play my best tennis today and I’m disappointed in that but Sloane was very supportive and if there’s someone I have to lose to today I’m glad it’s her. Sloane is truly one of my favorite people,” said Keys.“If you told me two months ago I’d be holding a US Open finalist’s trophy I’d have been really happy and proud of myself.”“It has been a very interesting year.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Mayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.