Keys, Stephens Book All-American Final at US Open

by Staff | September 8th, 2017, 12:40 am

The next generation of U.S. players will meet in the final of the US Open after Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens prevailed in semifinals on Thursday at Flushing Meadows.

The No. 15-seeded Keys kept her career record against fellow American CoCo Vandeweghe perfect, overwhelming the Californian 6-1, 6-2. It was her third straight event the two meet, and the outcome was the same.

“It feels absolutely amazing,” said Keys. “These are the moments growing up that you dream about, and, you know, to be sitting here as a US Open finalist, it feels really amazing.”

The 22-year-old Keys lost only three points on serve during the opening set.

“I played really, really well,” she said. “It was kind of one of those days where I came out and I was kind of in a zone, and I just kind of forced myself to stay there. I knew I was going to have to play really well in order to beat her, and, you know, I feel like once things started going, it just kind of fell into place. You know, luckily I was able to close it out the way that I did.”

Vandeweghe, who upset top seed and world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova, was, like Keys, also in her second Slam semifinal.

“None of it had anything to do with the occasion,” Vandeweghe said. “It was more Madison played an unbelievable match. I didn’t really have much to do with anything out there.

“I think it’s hard to look back on it now, the way I’m feeling right now, but it’s an amazing experience to be in the semifinal, to be here playing for my country and to know that I worked this hard to get here, but it’s a pretty crummy feeling right now.”

Keys, though, did have a late match issue with her hamstring.

“I felt it at the end of my match the other day, and then I just didn’t want it to become something that would be bad,” Keys said. “So as soon as I kind of felt it get the tiniest bit worse, I just had it wrapped to try and prevent anything from happening.”

In the final, Keys will meet her fellow American Stephens, who won a back-and-forth nail-biting meeting with fellow American and former No. 1 legend Venus Williams 6-1, 0-6, 7-5.

Both players are appearing in their first Grand Slam final.

“I’m super happy to be in a Grand Slam final,” Stephens said. “To do it here, obviously, my home Slam, is obviously more special. I think this is what every player dreams about.”

At 5-5 in the third Stephens broke at love, including an incredible get-lob that barely floated over Venus’ head.

“I hit that lob thingy. I don’t know what that was. That was great,” Stephens said. “I think that really gave me some momentum and really pumped me up. Those were the type of opportunities I was talking about, when you get your chance, you’ve really just got to take it and make the most of it.”

Venus missed out a chance in her third Slam final of the season. She’s still searching for the final big title since 2008 Wimbledon.

“It was definitely a contrast of play,” Venus said. “You know, I continued to play aggressive and continued to play the kind of match that it takes to win. Just made too many errors there at the end.”

Stephens won her only career meeting with Keys, in 2015 at Miami in straight sets.

“I have known her for a long time,” Stephens said. “She’s probably one of my closest friends on tour. Love her to death…Whether I win the tournament or not, like, I’m a Grand Slam finalist, and no one will ever be able to take that away from me.”

It will be the first all-American final at the US Open since 2002, when Serena Williams defeated her sister Venus.

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23 Comments for Keys, Stephens Book All-American Final at US Open

Margot Says:

Maddeee!! Playing flawless tennis dispatches Madam CV with ease.
Weird first two sets in the other, but in the third Sloane showed what an amazing athlete she is and what superb ball control she has. Everything Venus threw at her came back with interest.
Thrilled for them both. They’ve had a tough year.
Fantastic for American women’s tennis too!

Willow Says:

So happy that Maddie destroyed CV, just dissapointed she wont be facing Venus for the title, hope she wins the title, an all American final, and a new GS champion, lovely to see someone brand new getting in the mix ….

Markus Says:

Vandeweghe is so irritatingly cocky. In the interview prior to walking into court, when asked about the match, she said rather dismissively of such a big occasion that it was just another regular match. So just like her attitude, she was dismissed and easily at that by Keys. Well, just like in any other regular match.

Markus Says:

Luckily, when I tuned in, the Stephens-Williams match was just starting on the third set. Had I seen any of the first two sets, I would have turned off the TV. What I saw was outstanding tennis, two girls furiously whacking the ball like it’s a bad boyfriend.

BBB Says:

The announcers said something about Coco getting stuck in a traffic jam and missing her practice? It would explain why she was so particularly out of sorts, though I suspect there’s little that would have changed the outcome with Keys hitting the way she did.

Willow, I don’t know if you saw the post-match interview, but Sloane was very gracious :-)

Old School Says:

I hope that high thigh/hamstring issue doesn’t impact Madison. Sloan is going to try to exploit that and Madison will have to control rally’s to prevent that from happening. Sloan’s objective is forcing MK to change direction quickly. Madison’s objective is to put Sloan into one of those loss of concentration episodes and exploit it. Good matchup.

Willow Says:

BBB no i didnt see it but fair enough, and i dont actually hate her, i just find her a bit bratty, but shes nowhere near as annoying as CV who like Markus says is took cocky by half, especially for a player whos achieved very little, nice to see her brought down a peg or two ….

Van Persie Says:

Coco lets the impression, she would be cocky. My fellow Romanian Horia Tecau plays sometimes doubles with her and has the nicest things to say about Coco.

RZ Says:

Didn’t get to see either match yesterday but am thrilled for Keys and Stephens, both coming back from minor and major injury set backs. I hope the occasion doesn’t affect either one’s play in the final.

BBB Says:

Yes, Willow, I know what you mean. I’m just hopeful Sloane is maturing! Tennis benefits from good personalities. She knuckled down last night and didn’t get moody and sulky when things went awry. Good for her.

VP, that doesn’t surprise me, but her public persona is too ugly American for my tastes.

Van Persie Says:

Don’t like it either very much. I like Keys and Venus. Sloane and and Serena behave a bit like they would try to “self spoil” them selves. Do not know if that’s the wright word. Sloane reminds me of Prissy from “Gone with the wind” and Serena behaves sometimes like that cartoon character from ” Cow and chicken”.

Van Persie Says:

^ for BBB

SG1 Says:

There’ve been so many players this season that have bounced back from injuries/illness to play great tennis. Federer, Rafa, Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, Venus Williams and even JMDP and his wrist struggles. It’s clear that in today’s game, if you’re not healthy, you’re probably not winning much. The game has become very physical for both the men and the women.

Nice to see two new faces in the finals of a major on the women’s side. Keys seems very likeable and she has a massive game. Sloane Stephens has always had the talent. Can she keep her head together and make the final a competitive one? Keys seems like she’s on a mission.

Vince Says:

I like Sloane…because she doesn’t like Serena..

BBB Says:

“I swear I can birth that baby!”

I think Serena has also evolved. For awhile she didn’t bother being fake, then she was fake and you could tell when she was being fake, and now she’s either not fake or a much better actress. I really like that she went back to Indian Wells. I have rewatched the footage from the original incident and it was absolutely disgusting.

Serena, Judge Judy, and Beyonce all say that they don’t recognize themselves when they’re performing, or whatever you want to call it. I think there’s something to that – some people with that kind of success almost have a split personality.

Pamela Says:

I think Sloane being sidelined for a year with her surgery and injury did a lot of good. She had time to reflect and it appears she realized what she had and how lucky she was. I think Sloane has had an attitude adjustment. I like Venus, but does anyone else find her to be almost rude when they come out before going on to the Court? I think they should stop doing those pre game court side 2 minute interviews. the players want to stay focused. But, they won’t and in the meantime it should not be a problem to be nice, answer the few questions and be done. Both Serena and Venus are almost rude with their short non answers. It would have been nice to see Venus win another slam, but Sloane outplayed her. The third set was GREAT tennis…As for Coco. Coco grew up and lives here in San Diego (Rancho Santa Fe)… She comes from a very athletic A list family. Her mother was an olympic swimmer. Her father (I think), her grandfather and uncle for sure were either in the NFL or NBA. Her grandmother won the Miss USA pageant some years ago…. very athletic family.. She is for sure a bit cocky, but I think a lot of that is bravado. I felt like it was watching Simona.. the talent is there, but in the big moments they choke… Give Coco another chance.. she truly is a nice girl and if she focuses and gets the noise out from between her ears she has a chance of having a great career. One has to like Madison.. She is so sweet and Lyndsay Davenport has done wonders with her. Another one who was out due to injuries….All the other girls were talking about winning and she is the one that said how great it was that there were 4 americans and how they root for each other… hmmm… not last night they didn’t!!!

Margot Says:

How weird they’re both named after “Squares,” one in NYC, the other in London!

t4t Says:

At least on the women’s side, the young players have been able to take advantage of Serena’s absence. But we cannot as yet find even a poor man’s version of a future Serena or Venus among them. No one has been consistent enough to make 2 slam finals. That has been done by “old” Venus. But at least a lot of fresh young faces are lifting the big trophies. Unlike what’s happening on the men’s side.

Daniel Says:

Stephen with only 1 UE, 2 winner, but if she doesn’t miss she takes it. Unless Keys stop missing and continue hitting winners.

Vince Says:

Congrats Sloane…

BBB Says:

It’s an interesting contrast – I had just been reading an interview with Sharapova, where she repeats her philosophy that being friends on tour is not possible and in fact is fake (at least for her), and then saw the camaraderie between Sloane and Madison, with Sloane going over to sit with Maddison, the two of them giggling while they waited for the carpet to be rolled out.

Margot Says:

BBB: it was great to see the two women sitting and chatting and giggling together after the match.
And Sloane’s speech about her mother and parenting in general, was magic. Her father died some 8 years ago and I think he was a great athlete himself?
She’s so beautiful isn’t she? Not that that has got anything to do with anything, of course!

Willow Says:

Margot true, i remember Panetta and Vinci , and Serena and Stosur doing the same, also didnt Angie and Serena do it last year ? ….

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