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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Saturday, May 25, 2024


World No. 81 Peyton Stearns swept Mayar Sherif 6-2, 6-1 in 72 minutes to capture her maiden WTA title and complete a magical week in Rabat.

Photo credit: Hameltion/Wikimedia Commons

Prevailing in marathon matches to reach the Rabat final, Peyton Stearns sped to her maiden WTA title with a masterful performance.

World No. 81 Stearns swept Mayar Sherif 6-2, 6-1 in 72 minutes to capture her first title and complete a magical week in Rabat.

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Whipping her heavy kick serve to set up fierce first-strike forehands, Stearns served 78 percent, won 9 of 12 second-serve points and saved all four break points she faces.

The 22 year-old Stearns saved two break points to start the second set, then broke at 15. Stearns backed up the break for a one-set, 3-0 lead and never looked back.

A confident Stearns streaked through eight of the final nine games to sprint through the final finish line.

The 2023 Bogota finalist Stearns showed grit, defiance and that crackling topspin forehand in a determined run through the field.


Facing a dire 0-5 deficit in the final set of the quarterfinals, Stearns saved two match points to spark a rally stunning defending champion Lucia Bronzetti 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.

Stearns, who made her Top 100 debut in April of 2023, dug down deep to edge Viktoriya Tomova, in a pulsating 6-7(6), 7-5, 7-6(4) semifinal triumph that spanned three hours, 15 minutes.

Showing no signs of physical fatigue after those draining duels, Stearns was dominant in her second career WTA final.

Today's title comes nearly a year to the day after Stearns outhit and outfought No. 17-seeded Jelena Ostapenko in a 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 Roland Garros triumph to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time. It was Stearns' first career Top 20 win and her biggest career win.

A three-time all-American at the University of Texas, Stearns made history as the first player in Texas history to win the NCAA singles title, which she captured in the spring of 2022. Stearns became the first woman since Nicole Gibbs in 2013 to win the NCAA singles and team titles in the same year.  In her Roland Garros win today, Stearns wore a white visor with an orange Nike swoosh in tribute to her Longhorn legacy

Stearns, who nearly knocked world No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka out of Indian Wells last March, cites the success of two-time NCAA singles champion Danielle Collins, who reached the 2022 Australian Open final and a career-high rank of No. 7 as a positive influence in encouraging her to pursue a pro career.


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