The Runner Sports

Sloane Stephens And Madison Keys Through To The US Open Final

The women’s singles final is set at the US Open. Sloane Stephens defeated No. 9 seed Venus Williams 6-1, 0-6, 7-5 in the first semifinal, while No. 15 seed Madison Keys easily dismissed No. 20 seed Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-2.

There will be a first-time Grand Slam champion. This moment will throw the player into a realm of the elite. More interviews, more recognition, and more expectations will follow the winner from here until the end of her career. It is also the first time since 2014 that all four Grand Slams champions are different.

Here is how Stephens and Keys became the first players since Serena and Venus to compete in an all-African American Grand Slam final.

After two lopsided sets, Stephens and Williams saved their best tennis for the third set. Williams was two points away from victory at 5-4, but Stephens stepped up her level to get it to 5-5. Stephens was able to serve out the match, and won on a second serve to the body, which Williams’ backhand could not handle. For Stephens, this caps off an amazing comeback. A better Stephens has emerged from her time off, making better decisions on court and improving her backhand. Whether she wins or loses in the final, Stephens is back, and ready to be a contender again.

Keys came out against Vandeweghe the more focused of the two, quickly going out to 5-0 in just 15 minutes before Vandeweghe won a game. A change of tactics incorporating the serve and volley helped Vandeweghe make the second set more competitive. Unfortunately, Keys was just in the zone, even after calling for the trainer at 6-1, 4-1 up. Vandeweghe did manage another game, but seemed too frazzled and nervous by the occasion. Keys is making a mini comeback from wrist surgery last year that kept her out until March of this year, so this would also be icing on the cake to take home her first Grand Slam title.

Stephens and Keys are sending out a statement to the other players and the rest of world. And Stephens said it best in her on-court interview, “For American tennis, there’s no question marks. Proof is in the pudding. It’s all facts.”

Conrad Ellis

Conrad Ellis

Stevenson University graduate, class of 2016
Played tennis for 14 years and counting, favorite shot is forehand
Conrad Ellis