Day 11. Semifinals. Madison Keys

Andy Taylor. Tennis Host. 2017 US Open. Semifinal. Day-11. Madison Keys defeats Coco Vandeweghe

Tennis Host. Andy Taylor. The Voice of the US Open

Madison Keys def Coco Vandeweghe 61 62

For the first time in 36-years, the 2017 US Open Semifinals were an all-American affair in Flushing. The last time this happened was in 1981, when defending US Open Champion Chris Evert fell to Martina Navratilova. Tracy Austin defeated Connecticut’s Barbara Potter, then won her second US Open and 5th Major title, out-playing Navratilova in the Final.

Confounding Coco

Coco Vandeweghe has been 2017’s top-seed slayer at the Majors. In January, she eliminated defending champion Angelique Kerber en-route to her first Major Semifinal at the Australian Open. Yesterday, she ended Karolina Pliskova’s seven-week run as the WTA’s top-ranked player, and advanced to her second Grand Slam Semifinal of the year. That’s monstrous mojo; a swagger and confidence Vandeweghe fans have seen catch fire with coach Pat Cash stoking the coals.

Comeback Keys

Like many in this year’s US Open field, Madison Keys’ 2017 has been a comeback story. After missing the first two months of 2017 due to wrist surgery, she and coach Lindsay Davenport have been working out the kinks since Indian Wells. Four months later, they found their rhythm in Stanford, where Madison crushed the top-seed Garbine Muguruza in the Semi’s, then won a tight two-sets over Coco Vandeweghe in the Final. Here in Flushing, Keys endured two of the latest matches of her career, coming from behind to defeat Elena Vesnina in the 3rd-Round (1:45am), and Elina Svitolina in the Round of 16. Her season-delaying surgery was an irritating aside, after a 2016 that saw Madison win her second career title, reach two finals, compete in the Bronze medal match in Rio, climb to a career-high ranking of World #7 and qualify for the year-end WTA Finals.

Madison continues to own Vandeweghe

Unlike Sloane Stephens’ deciding-set victory over Venus Williams in the previous match, Thursday night’s remaining Semifinal was no contest. The Coco-Cash mojo went AWOL. Madison annihilated Vandeweghe in just over an hour, capping the win with her 5th ace. For Keys, it was her third consecutive win over Vandeweghe this Summer, after defeating Coco in the Stanford Final, and in the 1st-Round in Cincinnati.

The 2017 US Open Championship match is set. For the first time in 19-years, an American other than Venus or Serena Williams will become champion. It’s 24-year-old Sloane Stephens versus 22-year-old Madison Keys. The last American US Open Champion other than Venus or Serena? Madison’s coach, Lindsay Davenport in 1998.