Four American women will compete in the US Open semifinals for the first time since 1981 and for the first time at any major since 1985 at Wimbledon. The four women taking to Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday are Madison Keys, Coco Vandeweghe, Venus Williams, and Sloane Stephens.
US Open women’s semifinals
Madison Keys vs Coco Vandeweghe
Since we discovered that Serena Williams was going to be away from the tour to give birth to her first baby, it became obvious that there would be room for opportunity on the women’s tour that would not always be the case with Serena present.
Vandeweghe made her breakthrough at the 2017 Australian Open, where she made the semifinal, and everything seems to now be clicking for the American. She has performed incredibly well at the Grand Slams this season, and with Pat Cash as her coach she looks close to the finished article to regularly compete for Major titles, which is something we could not say many years ago for the outspoken American.
Keys’ arrival into a second Major semifinal is a special one, to tell you the truth. She had multiple wrist surgeries that curtailed the first half of her 2017 season and made her wonder whether the previously great times, like making the Australian Open semifinal, winning the title in Birmingham, qualifying for Singapore, were all accomplishments she could never revisit. This performance at the US Open is a reminder to the 22-year-old that she can overcome the biggest of problems, the biggest of obstacles, and come out on top with a smile on her face.
The matchup in this one is a true balancing act. Either player can really pull out the win in this match. Keys has the edge in terms of the confidence and security of knowing she has beaten Vandeweghe in Stanford and in Cincinnati not long ago, but Vandeweghe brings the ultra-confidence that not many players can match on tour. That unrivaled confidence that so few possess.
Prediction: Keys in three sets
Venus Williams vs Sloane Stephens
Sloane Stephens has been going on a tear since her return to the hardcourt. She required foot surgery, which kept her from the tour for some time, but is starting to fulfill the talent and promise she showed in 2013 in the most unlikely of circumstances. Stephens is vastly inexperienced in comparison to her opponent Venus Williams, but Stephens is one of the best athletes on tour and can effortlessly glide around the court.
Venus is chasing her first Grand Slam win since 2008, but has made two Major finals this season, which shocked many tennis fans. She is the only player remaining in the draw that can really back herself in terms of getting over the line and winning a Major title. That makes a huge difference.
Prediction: Venus in three sets
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