Stephens outlasts Venus to reach US Open final

4 American Women Reach US Open Quarterfinals For First Time In 15 Years

That will be followed by No. 15 Madison Keys against No. 20 CoCo Vandeweghe.

Keys completed the first all-American US Open women's semi-final lineup since 1981 on Wednesday by beating Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi 6-3, 6-3 at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Neither was even playing at the start of the season, due to their respective surgeries.

After watching her three compatriots get the job done the expectations were all on the 15th seeded Keys and the 22-year-old showed her steel blossoming under the pressure. She finished with six double-faults and a total of 51 unforced errors, 24 more than Stephens.

Keys reaches her first grand slam final appearance.

Pliskova, who was last year's runner-up at the U.S. Open, will be knocked from her perch as the world's No. 1-ranked player when the new rankings are announced next week.

Williams, whose seven major championships include the 2000 and 2001 U.S. Opens, and Stephens won quarterfinals Tuesday.

Stephens' surge through this tournament is reminiscent of Kim Clijsters' title-winning campaign in 2009, even if Clijsters had been voluntarily absent from the tour because of motherhood rather than injury.

While both finalists have endured their share of injury frustrations, it is Stephens story that surprises most. The last time it happened at the US Open was 2002, where Serena also won against Venus. Where Clijsters came into the tournament unseeded, Stephens barely owned a world ranking, having stood at No 957 as recently as the end of July.




"I feel like wrist surgery is all the rage right now". Keys was absolutely firing on all cylinders after coming up with some incredible returns and just using her powerful groundstrokes to dictate play and move Vandeweghe all around the court. "But sometimes they can be a blessing in disguise. I'm happy I helped out and got my name in there". "She's so excited to be out on the court again".

There is increasingly a camaraderie between these young American women.

Pliskova did not exactly heap praise on her opponent afterward. "And it's not easy playing a friend". "I can't tell you how many times I have sat in this chair and had to hear, you know, how disgusting tennis is in America".

U.S. ninth seed Williams, enjoying one of her finest seasons at age 37, is leading the charge.

At 5-all, Stephens broke with the help of a lob victor that drew a standing ovation from the crowd, and a full-sprint get of a short ball that she turned into a "How did she do that?!" victor at an impossible angle to love 30.

When Keys' turn came, she explained that their relationship has deepened further after a year of shared frustrations.

"When I won this event as a junior I always dreamed about being here on the real stage", the 25-year-old Vandeweghe said. I was like, 'Hey, what's up?

"I think I'm still gonna play the tournaments I planned before [the US Open]", Kanepi said, commenting on her plans for the near future. Footwork will be critical if she is to get past offensive-minded Keys, a good friend that she describes as an aggressive, "first-strike" tennis player. "We definitely know what the other was going through throughout the year". "We don't want to talk these kind of things before (an) important match". On Saturday, one will raise a Grand Slam trophy for the first time, at the other's expense. "I knew that it was going to be tough", she told reporters about coming back from her 11-month absence. Four Americans in the semi-finals and a Fed Cup final.

"It's great for American tennis".

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