US Open Tennis 2017 Results: Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys Advance to Final

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2017

Sloane Stephens, of the United States, reacts after scoring a point against Venus Williams, of the United States, during the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

The women's semifinals of the U.S. Open featured four Americans for the first time since 1981, according to the Associated Press

Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens battled in the first match of the night, while Madison Keys and CoCo Vandeweghe competed in the nightcap.

Here is a look at Thursday's action from New York.

             

Results

Sloane Stephens def. No. 9 Venus Williams; 6-1, 0-6, 7-5

No. 15 Madison Keys def. No. 20 CoCo Vandeweghe; 6-1, 6-2

           

Recap

Sloane Stephens Outlasts Venus Williams in Three Sets

Williams came in with the far better resume, including seven major championships, but Stephens entered the match with zero fear.

She won 27 of 40 total points en route to a 6-1 first-set win, including both of her break opportunities. She was in complete control early on:

The second set was a different story, though, as Williams got back on track and blanked Stephens. The 37-year-old was aggressive at the net, which helped her succeed whether she was serving or receiving.

During the epic third set, both players finally performed at their best at the same time.

After needing just a combined 54 minutes to complete the first two sets, the two competitors battled back and forth for an hour and 13 minutes in the decisive third set. Just about every point ended on a long rally and nearly every game went to deuce.

Myron Medcalf of ESPN made a bold statement considering the NFL season opener was also going on:

In the end, Stephens won three straight games with unbelievable defense to advance to the U.S. Open finals. This was one of her best points in the third set:

Williams hurt her cause with 51 unforced errors on the night, but Stephens earned the win with elite play down the stretch.

               

Madison Keys Handles CoCo Vandeweghe With Ease

While Stephens needed an epic third set to advance past Williams, Keys was dominant from the start against Vandeweghe.

Keys broke on Vandeweghe's first two service games and never looked back in a dominant 6-1 showing in the first set. She didn't relinquish her momentum, breaking on two of her first three chances in the final set as well to seize firm control of the match:

Keys was particularly dominant with her serve, notching five aces and winning 73 percent of her first-service points, per the tournament's official websiteVandeweghe was unable to counter with even a single ace and won just 45 percent of her first-service points.

What's more, Vandeweghe tallied 22 unforced errors to just nine from Keys, which made any potential comeback virtually impossible after the slow start for the No. 20 seed.

Attention now turns to the final between Keys and Stephens, which ESPNW put into historical perspective:

Stephens won the only other head-to-head matchup, which came in Miami in 2015. Another victory in the U.S. Open final would be much more significant.

               

Friday Schedule

No. 28 Kevin Anderson vs. No. 12 Pablo Carreno Busta (Not before 4 p.m. ET)

No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. No. 24 Juan Martin del Potro (Not before 5:30 p.m. ET)

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