NEW YORK, NY, USA - The WTA tour is always full of surprises, but the 2017 US Open will go down as one of the most surprising Slams in recent memory. Sloane Stephens' surprise run to the title put a final coda on two trends that regular tour fans have been watching develop for years: the youth movement has gained steam and the future of American tennis is looking very bright.
Unpacking the historically rare numbers behind the 2017 US Open:
5: Times now that an unseeded player has won a Slam in the Open Era. It has happened twice in 2017, with Stephens winning the US Open and Jelena Ostapenko winning the French Open.
7: Times in the Open Era that two first-time finalists faced off in a Slam final. However, with Stephens vs. Madison Keys, it has now happened twice in the last three years at the US Open (2015, Flavia Pennetta d. Roberta Vinci).
83: Stephens' ranking heading into the US Open. Stephens is the second-lowest ranked player to ever win a Slam (No.111 Chris O'Neil, 1978 Australian Open), and the lowest ranked player to ever win the US Open (excluding unranked Kim Clijsters in 2009).
99: Combined ranking of Stephens and No.16 Keys, the lowest combined ranking of US Open finalists since computerized rankings began in November 1975 (excluding unranked Clijsters in 2009).
940: Ranking spots Stephens jumped from the start of the US Open Series (July 31st). Stephens entered the Citi Open ranked No.967 and rose to No.17 after making the semifinals of the Rogers Cup, Western & Southern Open, and winning the US Open. This is the first time Stephens has ever made three consecutive semifinals.
6: Number of wins tallied by Stephens at her previous six Slams before New York. She won seven to win the US Open.
8: Number of three-set matches Stephens has won since the start of August. She has yet to lose a three-set match this season, winning three during her New York fortnight.
4: Number of Americans in the Top 15 on the Porsche Race to Singapore Leaderboard. Venus Williams leads the pack at No.5, CoCo Vandeweghe rose to No.11, Stephens rocketed up to No.12, and Keys surged up to No.14.
22: Madison Keys' age. She was the youngest American Slam finalist since 2003 Wimbledon (Serena Williams). She was the youngest US Open finalist since Caroline Wozniacki in 2009.
37: Aces hit by Keys over the tournament. She finished as the US Open ace leader, ahead of Karolina Pliskova (33) and Maria Sharapova (31)
3: All-American semifinals at the Slams in 2017. Venus defeated Vandeweghe at the Australian Open, Stephens defeated Venus at the US Open, and Keys defeated Vandeweghe at the US Open.
6: All American Final Fours at the Slams in the Open Era (1979 US Open, 1981 US Open, 1982 Australian Open, 1983 Australian Open, 1985 Wimbledon, 2017 US Open).
15: Years since there had been an All-American final at the US Open (2002, Serena d. Venus). Stephens and Keys ended that drought.
2002: The last year an American not named Serena or Venus won a major title. That year, Jennifer Capriati defeated Martina Hingis to win the Australian Open.
2003: The last time five Americans progressed to the Round of 16 at a Slam (Serena, Venus, Lindsay Davenport, Jennifer Capriati, Chanda Rubin). Venus, Keys, Vandeweghe, Jennifer Brady, and Stephens ended that drought this year.
121: Miles per hour on Venus' fastest serve, setting the top mark for the tournament.
4: Consecutive losses for Venus against left-handed opposition. She ended that streak with her three-set win over Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals.
2014: The last time four different women won each of the four majors before this year, when Li Na (Australian Open), Maria Sharapova (French Open), Petra Kvitova (Wimbledon), and Serena Williams (US Open) ran the table.
4: Women born in the 1990s to win a Slam. Stephens joins a list that included Petra Kvitova, Garbiñe Muguruza, and Jelena Ostapenko.
3: Slam finals in the last five Slams that did not involve a player aged 30 or older (Angelique Kerber d. Karolina Pliskova at 2016 US Open and Ostapenko d. Simona Halep at 2017 Roland Garros. The last time it happened before the 2016 US Open was 2014 Wimbledon (Petra Kvitova d. Eugenie Bouchard).
2005: The last time three of the four Slam champions was aged 24 or younger (Serena Williams (Australian Open, 23), Justine Henin (French Open, 23), Kim Clijsters (US Open, 22)).
2005: The last time the US Open defending champion lost in the first round (Kuznetsova). 2016 champion Angelique Kerber lost to Naomi Osaka in the first round.
2006: Osaka's win over Kerber, who was ranked No.6 at the US OPen, was the highest-ranked opponent defeated by a Japanese player since 2006 Roland Garros, when Akiko Morigami defeated then No.3 Nadia Petrova in the first round.
2000: The last time two Spaniards progressed to the Round of 16 at the US Open (Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Magui Serna). Garbiñe Muguruza and Carla Suárez Navarro ended that drought this year.
2: Qualifiers who have made the quarterfinals of the US Open. American Barbara Gergen reached the quarterfinals of the 1981 US Open and Kaia Kanepi matched that feat this year.
66: Slams played since the 32-seed system was introduced at 2001 Wimbledon. Since then, only 1 of Top 8 seeds has advanced to the quarterfinals at a Slam three times: 2017 US Open, 2014 US Open, and 2009 US Open.
1: Number of times since the advent of the tiebreak in 1970 that two women’s quarterfinals were decided by a final-set breaker in the same year at the US Open. This happened on the same day this year - by nearly the same scoreline - with Venus beating Kvitova 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(2) and Stephens beating Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(4).