All-American women's semi-final showdown set, but Sam Querrey bows out

Posted September 07, 2017

Venus Williams, holder of seven Grand Slam titles, meets Sloane Stephens, seeking her first, in a semifinal that will put an American woman through to the final.

Kvitova, seeded 13th, was hoping to prolong her comeback from a knife attack less than nine months ago by reaching the first US Open semifinal of her career. But since her return from injury, her form has been superb.

Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens did their part. The first set was a tight affair, with Williams forcing a tiebreak.

Stephens got off to the worst start possible, with Sevastova breaking in the opening game, though the American broke straight back and then broke to take the lead, saving break points to take a 4-1 lead in the opening set. She had 32 unforced errors to 31 winners.

And if the Stephens vs. Sevastova match seems like a toss up, perhaps it's not a coincidence that both stars entered their showdown after defeating their opponents in identical fashion. She made the final, losing to Martina Hingis. Serena cast such a huge shadow over this event that even her semifinal upsets in both 2015 - when she was aiming for a calendar Grand Slam - and 2016 upstaged the women's finals that followed and were won by Flavia Pennetta and Angelique Kerber. "Before, I was playing well, I had won a couple tournaments and was playing well".

But like a champion, Williams regained it with the snap of a finger and played an absolutely brilliant decider to win 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (2). It would be her third final this season (Australian Open, Wimbledon) and a second chance (lost Wimbledon to Garbine Muguruza (ESP)) to give it a go without her sister Serena Williams standing in the way of her chances. Brady, originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, pulled out a third-set tiebreaker against Monica Niculescu on Saturday to get the opportunity of a lifetime, an afternoon appearance on Labor Day on the Ashe Stadium show court. But the Slovakian fought back well to level the match.

"I know she couldn't walk for a while, but I don't know the specifics of her injury", said Williams. She's former top 10 in the world, a finalist at a Grand Slam.

"If someone would have told me when I started at Wimbledon that I'd be in the semifinals or making three semifinals back-to-back, I would have said they're insane", Stephens said after her win Tuesday. Kvitova, a two-time Major champion, remains the biggest challenger for Venus in the tournament.

Williams solidified her position on the tennis charts after her win Tuesday (Sept. 5) against Petra Kvitova. All six of the matches between Williams and Kvitova have gone to a third set.

This is not the first time an All-American Slam semifinal of the season. It was 16 years ago that the 37-year-old won the last of her two US Open titles and now the American is two victories away from securing what would be a remarkable success in NY.

Sevastova defeated Maria Sharapova in the last round, working her way into the match after being out-hit early on, and it was the same here.