J.M. Sorrell: Praises sportsmanship of U.S. Open women finalists

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Monday, September 11, 2017
Praises sportsmanship of U.S. Open finalists

While the U.S. Open final match between American players Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys was not nearly as close as anticipated (Stephens won 6-3, 6-0), the post-match action was incomparable.

Neither was expected to make the final, as Stephens was unseeded and Keys was seeded 15th. Both have suffered major injuries over the last year. Both fought hard to achieve so much at the U.S. Open.

Despite the elation of the moment, Stephens hugged and held her opponent for a long time as she cried on her shoulder, before raising her racket to the crowd. She then sat with her courtside rather than in her own chair as they waited for the awards ceremony.

On air, each praised the other, and Keys shared her delight that her friend won. She did not sulk or play victim. They laughed together, and they expressed their gratitude and amazement for being in the U.S. Open final.

Too often in professional sports, greed is at play. There are never enough Super Bowl rings, records broken, money made … to satisfy some.

On Saturday, these two elite athletes brought out the best character in each other. They epitomized sportsmanship, and they modeled maturity and grace for all the youngsters watching. These days, this is no small thing.

J.M. Sorrell