Sloane Stephens reached her first Grand Slam final at the U.S. Open at the expense of seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams, who was hoping to play in a third major final this season.
Stephens, who sat out 11 months with a left foot stress fracture until this year’s Wimbledon, captured a 6-1, 0-6, 7-5 win in a 2-hour, 7-minute semifinal victory over Williams on Thursday night.
Stephens’ win guarantees there will be a newly minted Grand Slam champion on Saturday. She’ll face either 15th seed Madison Keys or 20th seed CoCo Vandeweghe in an all-American final.
“I have no words to describe what it took, what I’m feeling, the journey I took to get here,” said the 24-year-old Stephens, who wiped away a few tears after the match. “I have no idea (how I got here). Your guess is just as good as mine.”
When Williams, the 2000 and ’01 champion here, walked off the court following the match, Stephens stood up and applauded her out of the arena.
Williams was asked if it’s any consolation that the three other semifinalists have looked up to her and credit her with inspiration.
“Well, to be honest, I’m definitely here to win my matches, not for consolations. That definitely sums it up,” she said.
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Source: USA Today