Peyton Stearns with her first WTA trophy in Rabat.

Stearns Wins First WTA Title in Morocco

Last week was a rollercoaster for Peyton Stearns (UTR Rating 12.26). At the WTA 250 in Rabat, Morocco, Stearns was down 5-0 in the third set of her quarterfinal match against Lucia Bronzetti. She roared back to win seven games in a row for a 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory, and continued her winning all the way to the title for her first trophy on the WTA Tour.

From Hurd Winner to WTA Champion

Last year, the 22-year-old American was named the Universal Tennis Foundation Hurd Award winner after a hugely successful two years at the University of Texas. She won the team NCAA title in both 2021 and 2022, and the singles NCAA tournament in 2022 before turning pro.

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Continuing in the tradition started by Mark Hurd and Oracle, the Universal Tennis Foundation Hurd Awards are $100,000 player grants made possible by a gift from the Hurd family and are awarded annually to assist young American players transitioning from college to elite international competition. The men's 2023 recipient was Andrew Fenty, and this year's winners were Ethan Quinn and Fiona Crawley.

Making Waves on the Pro Tour

Stearns WTA ranking has risen steadily, seeing her achieve a Top 50 ranking by the fall of 2023. Her highlights included a WTA 250 final in Bogota, a third round appearance at Roland Garros, and fourth-round run at the US Open.

But her first WTA title in Morocco was one for the memory books. After her improbable comeback against No. 4 seed Bronzetti, Stearns survived a 6-7(8), 7-5, 7-6(4) win over Viktoriya Tomova in the semifinals.

She hit her stride in the final, easing past Mayar Sherif, 6-2, 6-1.

Next Up: Kasatkina

Stearns had little time to rest on her laurels as she jetted to Paris for the first round of Roland Garros. She was pushed to the brink by qualifier Lucija Ciric Bagaric, escaping by a dramatic 6-3, 6-7(8), 7-6(6) scoreline. She’ll face No. 10 seed Daria Kasatkina next.

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