The ongoing U.S Open featured four Americas in the Semi Finals for the first time in a while and Sloane Stephens have progressed into the finals after two points was enough for her to avoid defeat against Venus Williams in the U.S. Open semifinal.
Stephens and Keys have been friends since their early 20s and would face each other in the first Grand Slam title match for each and the first all-American women’s final at Flushing Meadows since 2002.
Stephens summoned some of her best strokes when she needed them the most, steeling herself when so close to defeat and taking the last three games of a back-and-forth thriller, edging seven-time major champion Williams 6-1, 0-6, 7-5 on Thursday night.
The 15th-seeded Keys, who dominated No. 20 CoCo Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-2 in barely more than an hour, had her own recent health issue to deal with: She missed the first two months of this year after an offseason procedure on her left wrist, then needed another procedure in June because of pain in that arm.
“I think I played pretty well tonight,” Keys said in what amounts to quite an understatement.