New Delhi: It Is time for semifinals in US Open 2017. In women’s singles, Venus Williams will be up against her American compatriot Sloane Stephens and in second semis it will be another American duo, CoCo Vandeweghe and Madison Keys who face each other.
Interestingly, it happens for the for the first time since 1981, the US Open women’s semi-finals will be an all-American affair.
“It’s pretty awesome,” said Keys after completing the foursome with a 6-3, 6-3 victory Wednesday over Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi. “I thought it would be a really special moment. I’m happy I helped out and got my name in there.”
No matter who advances, it will set up the first all- American US Open final since 2002, when Williams lost to younger sister Serena.
US ninth seed Williams, enjoying one of her finest seasons at age 37, is leading the charge. This year’s Australian Open and Wimbledon runner-up is the US Open’s oldest semi-finalist and the oldest in any Slam since Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon in 1994.
Williams and Stephens in a showdown of African-American stars at Arthur Ashe Stadium shows the namesake barrier- breaker’s dream of tennis racial diversity is alive in the 20th anniversary season of the world’s largest tennis venue.
Williams, whose first Slam final was on Ashe 20 years ago, will return to the world top five for the first time since January 2011, her highest level since being diagnosed with the strength-sapping illness Sjogren’s Syndrome.
Stephens, who missed 11 months with a left foot injury before returning at Wimbledon, beat Williams in the first round of the 2015 French Open in their only prior match.
Vandeweghe eliminated Czech world number one Karolina Pliskova 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 before Keys, who is 2-0 against Vandeweghe, shook off nerves to win.
“I was real nervous,” Keys said. “The car ride over I was definitely feeling it but once I got out here I felt really good.”
Vandeweghe’s best Slam charge was into this year’s Australian Open semi-finals while Keys made her deepest run to the 2015 Australian Open semi-finals.