Vandeweghe upsets Pliskova to reach last four at US Open

Sep 13, 2017, 00:24
Vandeweghe upsets Pliskova to reach last four at US Open

She had a set point in the opener against Vandeweghe but could not take it and the 20th seed completed a 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 victory to reach her second grand slam semi-final of the season.

The four Americans in the 1981 U.S. Open semifinals were Martina Navratilova, Chris Event, Tracy Austin and Barbara Potter.

An all-American final is guaranteed as Madison Keys faces Coco Vandeweghe in the second semi-final.

The victor will reach her first Grand Slam final and make up half of the first U.S. Open women's final between Americans since Serena Williams beat Venus Williams in 2002. She was terrific against Kanepi, who sat with a white towel over her head during changeovers and dropped to 0-6 in Grand Slam quarterfinals.

Ousting a seven-time Grand Slam champion who was seeking her first US Open final since 2002 left Stephens stunned. Defending that constantly, I'm just going to really have to do everything really well. "The team works as hard as I do".

Vandeweghe herself reached the last four in Melbourne this year as well as the Wimbledon quarter-final but she had no answer to Keys' power and the 22-year-old blasted 25 winners on her way to a 6-1 6-2 victory that her own injury problems behind her. Two points away. There, they engaged in a 25-stroke point, until Stephens conjured up a backhand passing victor down the line, then wheeled and pumped her fists. "I was really nervous".

It would have been even shorter, except play was delayed for more than five minutes when Keys left the court to have her upper right leg taped at 4-1 in the second set. "I feel like everyone is getting it done", she said.

"I'm still living my dream, and it's incredible", Williams said.

Madison Keys and CoCo Vandeweghe both won their quarterfinal matches in NY on Wednesday, which means the U.S. Open will have an all-American semifinal for the first time since 1981.

Williams, who won the US Open in 2000 and 2001, seeks her eighth major title at age 37.

Keys is trying to reach her first Grand Slam final, where she would play fellow American Sloane Stephens.

Now she's playing in the US Open semi-finals.

Stephens twice broke to seize the initiative only for Williams to show all the tenacity of a seven-time major victor and leading 5-4 she looked on the brink only to see Stephen find a spectacular change of gear. "She's a great leader", Stephens said. "She had it on her racket".

"That was good, huh?"

"There was nothing I could do about those shots", Williams said.

Pliskova never quite found her groove at Flushing Meadows this year as her ferocious serve lacked its usual bite.

Garbiñe Muguruza is set to become the new WTA World No.1 for the first time in her career when the updated rankings are released on Monday, September 11. Williams, who won a dramatic, hard-fought match Tuesday against No. 13 Petra Kvitova, will face Stephens, who overcame No.16 Anastasija Sevastova.

"Sloane is a new person right now", Keys said.

The 15th seeded Keys and the 20th seeded Vandeweghe are good friends off the court and evenly matched on it. Both Williams and Stephens advanced by winning third-set tiebreaks. Just when it seemed one woman or the other was in full command, the match would swerve in a new direction. There wasn't much to give, but Stephens earned it.

"Just made so many errors at the end there". "I played pretty well". Those are moments where you have to dig deep and figure out how to get the ball on the court and have a big game.

"It was definitely well competed", Williams said.

"Now I can say I was not playing my best tennis this tournament", she said.

Despite her elimination from the US Open, her wins in this tournament will nonetheless help boost Kanepi's standing in the WTA rankings, and she intends to play in more WTA tournaments if possible.

Vandeweghe won 81 percent of her first-serve points to keep Pliskova on the defensive, but the former was thrilled with how she reacted to the latter's serves. The other match was in Stanford of this year, a match Keys won in straight sets.

Away from the court, though, they know each other well. She is fed up of hearing that American tennis - which has not had a male grand-slam champion since 2003 - is over-reliant on the Williams sisters. She returned to the tour at Wimbledon in July, losing in the first round, and lost her next match, too. "It's obviously going to be tough", Stephens said.

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