Party in the U.S.A: All-American women’s semifinals at U.S. Open

No Serena, no problem.

Even with Serena Williams on the sidelines, the American women have positively dominated the 2017 U.S. Open. And that is guaranteed not to change, because two will reach the final and one will win the title. That’s right; all four women in Thursday’s semifinals hail from the host nation. Sloane Stephens and Venus Williams got the quarterfinal ball rolling on Tuesday. Coco Vandeweghe and Madison Keys took the baton across the finish line on Wednesday.

This marks the first occasion on which the United States has put four women in the semis of a major since Wimbledon in 1985 and the first it has happened at the U.S. Open since 1981. Only five previous times in the Open Era (since 1968) had a Grand Slam featured four American women’s semifinalists:

– 1985 Wimbledon (Chris Evert, Zina Garrison, Martina Navratilova, Kathy Rinaldi)
– 1983 Australian Open (Zina Garrison, Kathy Jordan, Martina Navratilova, Pam Shriver)
– 1982 Australian Open (Chris Evert, Andrea Jaeger, Martina Navratilova, Pam Shriver)
– 1981 US Open (Tracy Austin, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Barbara Potter)
– 1979 US Open (Tracy Austin, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova)

Here is what each of the four 2017 U.S. Open semifinalists had to say about this latest history-making achievement:

Sloane: “It’s great. It’s great for American tennis. It’s great for African-American women. I hope that we keep it going. Yeah, there is not really much to say other than it’s amazing…. Obviously as an American, playing at your home slam, to have the crowd like that behind you, is incredible. I don’t think there is any better feeling or better moment you’ll get out of playing tennis.”

Venus: “It’s been a great two weeks for American tennis–seeing all the American players in the draw and all of them advancing so deep and competing so well. All I have known all my life was great American players. So it’s great to see this resurgence, and I hope it can continue.”

Coco: “Venus last night said it very well, that the younger ones were looking at Lindsay (Davenport), Jennifer (Capriati), and Serena and Venus. I think that still holds. We wanted to be those same players in a later generation. Now that we’re older, we can put that into words. We all wanted to be there. For myself, it’s really nice to have all-American semis, because for sure there [are going to be two Americans] in the final.”

Keys: “It’s really amazing, not only for myself but just for American tennis. Yeah, I’m really excited and proud of all of us for getting this far and having it going to be USA all the way. We have so many Americans to talk about in the last days of the US Open. I can’t tell you how many times I have sat in this chair and had to hear how horrible tennis is in America. So this feels really good, the fact that there is going to be two all-American semifinals; two people in the finals on Saturday.”

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