Peyton Stearns wins maiden WTA title in Rabat

Stearns had two tough three-set matches to get to final but breezed to victory
Robert Prange/GettyImages

Peyton Stearns won her first WTA title at Rabat on Saturday. Stearns, an NCAA champion, faced Mayar Sherif, another NCAA player, in the finals and many were concerned what Stearns had left in the tank after spending an additional 4 1/2 hours on the court than her opponent this week.

Sherif did not drop a set the entire week before the final. Her matches were neat, tidy, and over within 90 minutes. Stearns clawed her way through and was nearly out in the quarterfinals when she was down 0-5, 30-40 in the third set.

This win is huge for Stearns for many reasons. Going into this week, she was in a sophomore slump with a record of 7-10.

What we learned about Peyton Stearns this week

Stearns made a coaching change a few weeks ago and is now working with Tom Hill, the former coach of Maria Sakkari. When her game is on, the forehand is tough to defend. Stearns sprinkled cross court forehands with minimal errors against Sherif.

Stearns also defended her serve perfectly. Sherif had opportunities even in the final game of the match but could not convert.

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She pounced on Sherif's serve, going three-for-three in break conversions. Sherif who bulldozed her opponents the entire week was visibly frustrated as she got further behind in the match. She started hitting bigger shots and going for more, and the errors came in.

Stearns and Sherif have similar games so it was always going to boil down to the player who executed the best with more forehand wins and cleaner service games.

Stearns gets an incredible confidence boost before traveling to Paris for the French Open. She advanced to the third round at Roland Garros last year. Stearns is most comfortable on clay. Thankfullly she got off the court in straight sets in Rabat so she could begin her recovery and preparation for Roland Garros.

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