Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Sport | By Scott Davis

Vandeweghe knocks world number one Pliskova out of US Open

Vandeweghe knocks world number one Pliskova out of US Open

Vandeweghe's victory means that the US Open will possibly have an all-American semifinal lineup for the first time since 1981 if Madison Keys can overcome Estonia's Kaia Kanepi later on Wednesday.

That came several hours after 20th-seeded CoCo Vandeweghe's 7-6 (4), 6-3 elimination of 2016 runner-up and top-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

The second American semi-finals ended in an unexpected defeat Venus Williams - Sloane Stephens, until recently, were not in the top 1000 WTA rankings, defeated an experienced opponent three-set victor in a protracted confrontation.

"I was really nervous", admitted Keys. "The fact that there is going to be two all-American semifinals, two people in the finals on Saturday, and there are lots of young up-and-comers".

"She got there, and all of a sudden, I saw that she came back". Not to mention Keys has been far more relaxed this tournament and you get the feeling she's in her zone right now where nothing can stop her.

With four American women lining up in the semi-finals of a major for the first time since 1985, it was the much heralded next generation of stars who advanced into the showpiece, but the journeys of Stephens and Keys have been anything but straightforward.

Keys and Vandeweghe were scheduled for the second semifinal later Thursday night.

Keys is trying to reach her first Grand Slam final, where she would play fellow American Sloane Stephens. That distinction will belong to Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain. She returned to the tour at Wimbledon in July, losing in the first round, and lost her next match, too.

"Even though we are out here individually, it's a team sport", she said in an on-court interview. "Just hard work. That's it".

Vandeweghe had no answers to the power and precision of Keys, who also won their previous two meetings this year, in what was both players' second major semifinal. It is a process and here I am. "The auto ride over I was definitely feeling it but once I got out here I felt really good".

Stephens is 1-0 against Keys but trails Vandeweghe 3-1 in career results. She owns seven major championships, two at the U.S. Open in 2000 and 2001.

Stephens and Keys have only played once before, on a hard court at Miami in 2015.

I've never seen Sloane Stephens play such good defence, and just when it looked like her forehand had gone passive she stepped it up.

"I think we all were rooting for each other today", Keys said after completing the American sweep.

At the start of the year she was working as a reporter for the Tennis Channel and was in the midst of an 11-month lay-off due to a foot injury that required surgery and as recently as three months ago had her in a protective boot.

Keys produced a brilliant first, taking it in just 23 minutes.

And a relentless Keys dropped just four points as a double-break helped her to a 5-0 lead in the opening set.

"I'm going to have to serve really well", said Keys, looking ahead to her semi-final.

At 5-all, Stephens broke with the help of a rainbow of a victor - "That lob-thingy", she'd call it - that drew a standing ovation from the crowd, and a full-sprint get of a short ball that she turned into a "How did she do that?!" point-ender at an impossible angle.

Federer's 18-match Grand Slam winning streak ended with a 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (8), 6-4 quarterfinal loss to Juan Martin del Potro.

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