The 2017 U.S. Open will see a first-time major winner in the women's singles draw after Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys both won Thursday night to advance to the final.
The pair will face off Saturday at 4 p.m. ET, with television coverage on ESPN. Fans can also stream the event on WatchESPN.
For Stephens, reaching the U.S. Open final represents fulfillment of the promise she showed in 2013, when she knocked Serena Williams out in the Australian Open quarterfinals and then reached the quarters at Wimbledon.
Thursday's victory also continued her incredible turnaround from a foot injury that sidelined her until Wimbledon earlier this year. The New York Times' Christopher Clarey detailed her rapid rise in the WTA rankings:
Christopher Clarey @christophclarey
What a comeback for Sloane Stephens, one of the most dramatic ranking climbs in tennis history https://t.co/5EyvMY363L2017-9-8 01:32:31
"I have no words to describe what it took, what I'm feeling, the journey I took to get here," Stephens said after beating Williams Thursday, per USA Today's Sandra Harwitt. "I have no idea [how I got here]. Your guess is just as good as mine."
Stephens defeated Williams in a three-setter that packed its excitement into the third set. Stephens took the first set 6-1 and Williams responded by taking the second 6-0.
Stephens went ahead 2-0 in the third before Williams answered back and won the next two games. From there, they exchanged the lead four times, culminating with Stephens breaking Williams serve in the 11th game, which was the turning point in the match.
Keys needed no such drama to breeze past CoCo Vandeweghe, 6-1, 6-2. She had 25 winners to nine unforced errors and was excellent on serve, winning 73 percent of her first-service points and 76 percent of her second-service points. Keys didn't allow a break-point opportunity, either, while converting four of her seven break-point chances.
Somewhat concerning for the 22-year-old, though, is the fact she needed an injury timeout in the second set while holding onto a 4-1 advantage. She returned to the court with her right quad heavily taped.
Keys has a day to recover before she takes on Stephens, so the injury may prove to be of little consequence. Should the quad be an issue for her Saturday, though, it could present a far bigger problem against a problem against an opponent who has won 14 of her last 16 matches.
Stephens and Keys have met just once before at a WTA event. Stephens won 6-4, 6-2 in the second round of the 2015 Miami Open. Regardless of who wins Saturday, the result is unlikely to be as decisive considering how well both players are performing in New York City.