Sloane Stephens wins the ASB Classic in Auckland
Sloane Stephens planned to celebrate winning the ASB Classic by super-sizing her normal evening ritual in Auckland of having a curry.
The 22-year-old defeated Julia Goerges 7-5 6-2 in the final on Saturday, claiming her second title and she said she'd be ordering big to toast her victory.
"I'm going to Raviz, we've been there six nights in a row," a joyful Stephens said.
"I'm getting three butter naan and two mango lassi!"
Stephens has every right to take a night off from the strict diet tennis players have to endure.
This victory may go down as the turning point in her career. Despite winning the title in Washington last year, Stephens was still seen as a player who hadn't lived up to her potential but, with the way she played this week, she looks more certain of achieving greatness than ever before.
Beating compatriot Serena Williams at the Australian Open in 2013 was something of a false dawn for her and in more recent times she became known as a player who couldn't win the big matches.
But she improved each day in Auckland and also stayed with her aggressive game-plan.
The first set of the final was a tight affair, with the only break of serve coming when Goerges was serving at 5-5. Stephens grasped that lead and served it out to have one hand on the trophy.
Stephens got a break early in the second set and from then on it was just about staying in control of her emotions and ticking off the games until she got to six.
Goerges knew she had to pull out something special to get back into the match and went for winners when the better option would have been to keep the rallies going.
The German was broken again in the seventh game, giving Stephens the chance to serve it out for the title.
Stephens did so easily, dropping just one point, and the tournament came to an end with the American ripping through a cross-court forehand winner.
It was a long and emotional day for Stephens who defeated former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 7-6 earlier in a rain-delayed semifinal.
"Beating someone you've never beaten before is always exciting," Stephens said.
"To play against Julia in the final, I knew it was going to be tough, so I was pleased with the way I was able to pull myself together from the morning and then play in the afternoon."
For Goerges, the 27-year-old German, who has won just two titles over her career, just making it this far was a successful achievement.
"There were some great rallies, but she sometimes had the better answers on my shots," Goerges lamented.
"I don't think I played poorly but she always came up with great shots out of defence, which made it tougher for me because it always takes energy away from you and she totally deserved to win."
Stephens and Goerges both say they'll be back next year and Wozniacki also said she wanted to play in the tournament again in 2017.
"I love coming back here, it's a great way to start the season," Wozniacki said.
"The crowd is always amazing and we usually play in front of a packed crowd, which is a lot of fun.
"Karl (Budge) makes us feel very welcome and at home and I hope that I will be invited back again next year."