Keys crushes Vandeweghe to set up all-American final

Posted September 10, 2017

Tennis star Serena Williams broke her social media silence since giving birth to her daughter one week ago, tweeting praise on Friday to American US Open finalists Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens.

And as Stephens posed for photos mid-court with the trophy above her head, the lid fell off, leading to more smiles.

The first set was dominant, with Williams managing to hold on her first service game but losing every one after that to drop the set with only a single game won.

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After the first set, Sloane Stephens's U.S. Open semifinal against Venus Williams looked like it was going to be easy.

Stephens, ranked No. 83 after undergoing foot surgery in late January, previously reached the 2013 Australian Open semis, but now she is into the final of her home Slam.

When Williams stood two points from victory returning at 30-all while leading 5-4 in the third, she was forced into uncomfortable positions. "To stand her with today is incredible, that's what real friendship is". She broke Williams with a series of attractive points: a killer backhand past Venus at the net, then an equally dazzling cross-court victor, and then two Williams errors that gave Stephens the game.

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Keys, for her part, closed out the first set in 23 minutes but had to take a seven-minute medical timeout and returned with a strap around her right thigh. "If there's someone I have to lose to today, I'm glad it's her". "I told Maddy I'm never going to be able to top this", Stephens said, drawing laughs from the crowd. Shortly after she did so this week, CoCo Vandeweghe and Madison Keys also reached the semis.

"I have no words to describe what I'm feeling, what it took to get here, just the journey I've been on, I have no words", she said.

Williams said, "It was definitely a contrast of play". When she won her first, in 2000, her fellow semifinalists were all under 9 years old.

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One of those emerging stars, Stephens, was just four years old when her opponent Thursday night, Venus Williams, debuted here as a 17-year-old back in 1997.