The Final Four: It’s An All-American US Open Women’s Semifinals For First Time In 36 Years

By Karen Price | Sept. 06, 2017, 9:08 p.m. (ET)
Sloane Stephens celebrates after defeating Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia in their women's singles quarterfinal match the 2017 US Open on Sept. 5, 2017 in Queens, N.Y.

 

The American women made a clean sweep of the US Open quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows in New York, making it the first time in 36 years that the Grand Slam event will see an all-American semifinals.

Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens, CoCo Vandeweghe and Madison Keys, who all represented Team USA at Olympic Games Rio 2016, are the last four women standing and will face off on Thursday for a spot in the final. The last time the Americans had four women in the US Open semifinal was 1981, when Tracy Austin (champion), Martina Navratilova (runner-up), Chris Evert and Barbara Potter competed. The last time four U.S. women appeared in the same Grand Slam semifinals was four years later (Navratilova, Evert, Kathy Rinaldi and Zina Garrison at Wimbledon in 1985).

The first All-American US Open semifinal since Serena Williams faced Lindsay Davenport in 2002 was decided on Tuesday, when both Venus Williams and Stephens won their quarterfinal matches.

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Williams defeated two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (2), to continue her impressive resurgence this season at the age of 37. Williams last won the US Open in 2001 to make it two in a row. She’s the oldest player to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon in 1994, and she’s now done it three times this year following the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

Stephens, meanwhile, defeated Anastasija Sevastova, of Latvia, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (4), to reach a major semifinal for the first time since 2013. After missing nearly a year of tennis because of a foot injury and surgery, the 24-year-old 2016 Olympian will be seeking her first appearance in a Grand Slam final. She and Williams will face one another at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Next up to reach the semifinals was CoCo Vandeweghe, who upset the top-ranked player in the world and 2016 runner-up, Karolina Pliskova, 7-6 (4), 6-3, on Wednesday. Vandeweghe, who was the junior champion in New York in 2008, reached a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time ever earlier this year at the Australian Open.

Finally, Keys beat qualifier Kaia Kanepi, 6-3, 6-3, on Wednesday night to complete the sweep. Prior to this year, she had never advanced past the round of 16 at the US Open and has also played in the semifinals of a Grand Slam just one other time, competing in the Australian Open in 2015. Keys finished fourth at last summer’s Olympic Games, the highest finish among the American women.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.