Set up All-American Semifinal
Erin Maher | September 5, 2017
Sloane Stephens and Venus Williams both eked out victories on Day 9 of the 2017 US Open, setting up the first all-American women's semifinal at the Open since 2002. And, amazingly, by the exact same score line: 6-3, 3-6, 7-6.
The 24-year-old Stephens secured her spot in her first US Open semifinal by upsetting No. 16 seed Anastasija Sevastova, while Venus Williams opened the night session with a sitting victory over two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.
The two will now face off for a spot in the women's singles final, the first time two Americans have played in the round of 4 since Serena Williams defeated Lindsay Davenport in 2002.
In the first matchup Tuesday, Stephens managed to come back after dropping the second set, overcoming a 3-1 deficit in the third seed to pull off her third upset of a seed in the tournament.ADVERTISEMENT
Stephens’ victory was sweet but not expected. Last summer, she missed the Open due to a foot injury and subsequent surgery, taking a total 11 months off from tennis before returning to the courts at Wimbledon earlier this summer.
Since then, Stephens’ has continued to sizzle on the court, making it to the semifinals at the Rogers Cup in Toronto and at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati this August.
"When I started my comeback before Wimbledon,” said Stephens in her post-match press conference, “I could have never even dreamed of having these results in my home Slam, at my favorite tournament. It's indescribable."
Venus and Kvitova, meantime, staged an impressive battle, a must-watch between two of the cleanest strikers in the game.
After splitting sets, both players – already elite – stepped up their game, giving the night audience in Ashe a dazzling display. But it was Venus, with the American crowd behind her, rose in the tiebreak, pulling ahead early and closing it out, 7-2.
“It feels good, it feels amazing,” said Venus of the American spirit in the stadium, “I didn’t want to let you guys down. Thank you for the support.”
In doubles action, the Bryan Brothers, Bob and Mike, looking to win their sixth US Open title, topped a pair of Frenchmen, Julien Benneteau-Edouard and Roger-Vasselin, 6-3, 7-5. The Bryans next play the Spainish duo of Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez in the semifinals.
American juniors had a banner day, with 11 Americans advancing to Round 3, among them No. 4 seed Amanda Anisimova, who topped Russia’s Kamilla Rakhimova; No. 8 seeds in doubles Elysia Bolton and Ann Li, who defeated Mai Hontama and Anri Nagata; and 13-year-old American Cori Gauff, who upset No. 5 seed Carson Branstine.