Stephens tops Williams; faces Keys in all-American US Open Finals

Americans Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys, both struggling with serious injuries just three months ago, advanced to their first Grand Slam final at the US Open.

Stephens, who missed 11 months with a left foot injury before returning in July, outlasted seven-time Slam champion Venus Williams 6-1, 0-6, 7-5.

"I have a lot of grit,'' said the unseeded Stephens, who is ranked 83rd after having surgery on her left foot in January. She is the fourth unseeded finalist at the tournament in the Open era, which dates to 1968. "I don't give up. Like, I'm not just going to give it to someone. I'm not just going to let them take it from me.''

US 15th seed Keys, who had left wrist surgery for the second time in 10 months after a first-round French Open exit, routed US 20th seed CoCo Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-2 in 66 minutes to complete the first all-American US Open final since Serena Williams beat sister Venus in 2002.

"It was kind of one of those days where I came out and I was kind of in a zone,'' Keys said of her play. "And I just kind of forced myself to stay there.''

The friends and Fed Cup teammates will meet on Saturday at Arthur Ashe Stadium in the biggest match of either's career for a top prize of $3.7 million (3.07 million euros).

This was the first time in 36 years that all four women's semifinalists at the US Open represented the host country, so it was understandable if spectators in Arthur Ashe Stadium were conflicted about which players to root for.

At 37, Williams was attempting to become the oldest woman to win a Grand Slam title in the Open era. She was trying to reach her third major final of this season, something she last did 15 years ago. Williams' first title match in New York came in her US Open debut in 1997. Stephens, now 24, was just 4 at the time


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