Madison Keys vs.  Sloane Stephens
Either way it was a victory for America; yet, deep down inside we had our favorites. How can you not wish for Venus Williams to win one more Major title? Time is running out for her and despite the fact that she keeps going, she is 37 years old and at some point she will retire. It was a difficult match for me to watch, especially knowing that Williams’ chances were slipping away in the latter stages of the match.
Once again this season, she fell short and this time it was to a younger American, Sloane Stephens. Both players were clearly anxious and at first it appeared that Stephens was handling the occasion better than her veteran opponent, she won the first set in twenty-four minutes. Williams surprisingly was more anxious than her opponent and started slowly, misfiring on every shot to drop the first set 1-6.
Just when you thought this was over for Williams, Stephens began to feel the pressure. Now it was real, the possibility of getting to her first major final was one set away and she started misfiring. Williams won the second set 6-0 to force a decider.
They traded breaks in final set and once again Williams was on the brink of elimination, but the champion in her kept fighting. However, while the will was there, her body was not and it became apparent that fatigue was setting in. She was slower to the ball and against a player like Stephens who can hit just as hard as she can and moves much better than she does, it was a recipe for defeat. At 5-5, Williams was broken at love and she this time she could not mount another comeback.
Stephens served it out and won 6-1, 0-6, 7-5 to get to her first major final. This is Stephens’ fifth tournament back from her eleven month lay-off following foot surgery.
The second semifinal in contrast was an easy victory for Madison Keys; she defeated Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-2. Keys is also recovering from surgery, she underwent two surgeries on her left wrist (the first was late last year and the second one was earlier this season in June). She will face Stephens in the final, who leads their head-to-head 1:0. While that victory was won in straight sets, expect the final to be a battle. Both players are fighting for a coveted 🏆.
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