At this year’s U.S. Open, Venus Williams, CoCo Vandeweghe, Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys delivered the event’s first all-American womens semifinals since 1981.
The tournament began with 128 players vying for the crown, with defending champ Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep, Garbie Muguruza, Elina Svitolina and Karolina Pliskova considered among the favorites to win it in Serena Williams’ absence.
But a funny thing happened en route to this year’s coronation, as Stephens and Keys surprised everyone by proving that they were in a New York state of mind by unexpectedly advancing to today’s final. They’ll meet up on a stage that neither has never been to before, with each hoping to win their very first Grand Slam crown.
Relive the match highlights from Sloane Stephens vs. Venus Williams. Keep up with all the news from the front lines of the 2017 US Open: http://ms.spr.ly/6055rv9k9
For many folks worrying about the state of American women’s tennis, they’ve been happy to learn that the rumors of the U.S. ladies’ demise once Serena and Venus call it quits have been greatly exaggerated.
Stephens has been the biggest story of this year’s U.S. Open, especially when you factor in the fact that she couldnt even walk a few months ago. After missing close to a full calendar year due to foot surgery, she returned to play at Wimbledon, where she subsequently suffered and unceremonious first round defeat.
But since then, she’s kept it gangsta and has Crip-Walked her way back toward a top 20 ranking en route to becoming just the fourth unseeded woman to reach the US Open final in the Open era. Stephens has hinted at this type of potential early on in her career. At the age of 19 in 2013 she beat Serena in the Australian Open quarterfinals. She also advanced to the quarters at Wimbledon the same year.
She’s captivated the minds and captured the hearts of American tennis fans with a power, agility, seemingly effortless movement and poise that’s been a joy to behold.
Watch as Madison Keys advances to the women’s final after defeating CoCo Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-2. Keep up with all the news from the front lines of the 2017 US Open: http://ms.spr.ly/6055rv9kF
The 22-year-old Keys won 73% of her first-serve points in her 6-1, 6-2 semifinal annihilation of Vandeweghe while smashing 25 winners against just nine unforced errors. Her serve and ground game have allowed her to surge onto tennis’ biggest stage today. She’s definitely bringing some firepower that Stephens is going to have to deal with.
It’s almost unbelievable to think that this is the first time two American women will do battle in the U.S. Open final since Serena beat Venus in 2002. Even crazier than that is the fact that Stephens or Keys will become the first American woman not named Venus or Serena to win a Grand Slam title since Jennifer Capriati won the Australian Open 2002.
Madison Keys faces Sloane Stephens on Arthur Ashe Stadium for the women’s final. Keep up with all the news from the front lines of the 2017 US Open: http://ms.spr.ly/6052rvitk
Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens were both tabbed as future stars when they were teenagers. Today, one of them will forever be associated with momentary greatness. Both of them have ambitions that are much bigger.