Madison Keys will face Sloane Stephens in the 2017 US Open women’s singles final after they undertook different paths in their semi-final wins to make the title-decider.
Keys, who is seeded 15th in the competition this year, came into the US Open after a long layoff because of a wrist surgery, crushed Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-2 in just 66 minutes to book her place in the final.
On the other hand, Stephens needed to overcome the loss of focus in the second set against Venus Williams which she lost 6-0 to win the semi-final. She came through 6-1, 0-6, 7-5 to set up her meeting with Keys.
Stephens, much like Keys had been struggling with an injury issue of her own and had missed 11 months of tennis because of that before she returned to the circuit in July.
Incidentally this will be the first all-American final at the US Open since the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena had faced off in the 2002 final.
A surprised Keys said of her win:
“It still doesn’t feel real. I’m still shaking. I played pretty well. There’s a lot of things in my head right now so I’m struggling to come up with words.”
“I knew I had to rise to the occasion. I’m just happy to be in the final.”
On the other hand, Stephens was delighted at having made the final of her home Grand Slam. She said:
“I’m super happy to be in a Grand Slam final. To do it here, my home slam, is obviously more special. I think this is what every player dreams about.”
Incidentally, Keys and Stephens have been friends on the WTA circuit and have also played for USA together in Fed Cup tennis competitions. Stephens confirmed this when she said:
“I love her to death. And it’s not easy playing a friend.”
And while the US Open 2017 final will not be a matter of life and death, it sure could go right down to the wire given the amount of tennis these two have played with each other.