While much of the excitement will be on the other semi final where Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens face off, Madison Keys is one step closer to being able to establish herself as the top face of a post-Williams sisters era in American tennis. She is favoured to win the tournament now although CoCo Vandeweghe has continued to build on big performances this year and will find herself at a new career high ranking between 9 and 16 depending on her final result in this tournament.
She saw off world No.1 Karolina Pliskova in the previous round, holding her nerve late on after facing break point when serving for a straight sets win. “I think there were moments where I was really tough in the big points, and I think my best asset today was making her continually play on her service games. Whether it was not a great return that just got over the net, I know as a big server it’s really annoying when your serve keeps coming back. So I think that was a big pressure moment for her with me hustling down a serve or hustling down her next ball to make her hit a volley, if possible, or hit another groundstroke.” Coco said of her win over Pliskova. She covered a lot of ground throughout as Pliskova managed to hit just 15 winners overall, quite low for someone with her game style. It was the second straight win for her over a big hitting Czech after beating Lucie Safarova in the previous round.
“Madison is a player that can take control of the points and of the rallies. I think if I allow her to do that, then she’s going to be on the winning side of the coin. Similar to Pliskova today and Lucie the other day.” said Vandeweghe of what she will need to do to progress. Keys ended the dream run of Kaia Kanepi to make it this far, having a fairly stress-free time in Wednesday’s night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium. She was not broken once in the 6-3 6-3 win while hitting 23 winners against the Estonian.
“Having, you know, all of the things that were kind of thrown at me this whole year and having some really low moments and, you know, there was a moment where I came off the court, and I said, I don’t know if I’m ever going to win a tennis match again. There was definitely a lot of dark moments. To have this really feels good and makes me really proud of myself.” Keys said. One more win and a spot in the final would be another great addition to what has been an excellent summer for Keys, who has built on what she had promised prior to her injuries. While she is 16-8 on the year, the tail-end of that is an 11-1 run that she hopes to extend to 13-1 by Saturday night.
Prediction – Madison Keys in straight sets