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Home Sweet Home For American Ladies In 2017 US Open Final Showdown

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We’ll witness two all-American semi-finals on day 11 of the US Open as Venus Williams faces Sloane Stephens and Coco Vandeweghe plays Madison Keys.

It is the first all-US last four line-up at the tournament since 1981.

The first fixture on the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York will be between two-time champion Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens at 00:00 BST.

Arthur Ashe became the first black man to win a Grand Slam when he triumphed at the 1968 US Open and Williams and Stephens will face each other on the court named after the three-time major winner.

Venus, who reached the final at her first US Open in 1997, the same year the Arthur Ashe Stadium made its debut, added: “He’s a total legend.

Venus, 37, is the oldest semi-finalist at any Grand Slam since Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon in 1994.

“It’s such a wonderful feeling, because you put in so much work to be able to succeed at these moments,” Williams said.

“He played during a time where he couldn’t just focus on the tennis. I’m very blessed to be able to focus on my game. But he had to fight because of the colour of his skin.

“It was a completely different time. So I can’t even imagine the pressure he was under. To come out of it with grace, as a champion, it’s incredible.”

Sloane Stephens has continually praised Venus since she discovered she was to face the iconic tennis player.

“It has 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.” Stephens said.

Stephens added: “Making the semi-finals of a Slam is a complete neutraliser, anybody’s game. I just have to focus on myself.

“Venus is just our leader, everyone looks up to her. She’s a great player, a great person. She’s a great leader.”

“It’s great for American tennis,” said Stephens. “It’s great for African-American women. I hope that we keep it going.”

The match will be followed by 20th seed Coco Vandeweghe taking on Madison Keys.

Vandeweghe was the third American to reach the semi-finals after she saw off World No. 1 Pliskova 7-6(4), 6-3, knocking the Czech off the top of the rankings at the same time.

It is the first time the 25-year-old, who won the junior championship at Flushing Meadows as a 16-year-old in 2008, has reached this stage of the US Open.

“I think the biggest thing is channelling my intensity and tenacity out onto the court and putting it into a singular focus. I think that’s probably one of the biggest things he’s implemented into my regimen.”

Madison Keys completed the all-American semi-final pairing.

The 15th seed breezed past Kaia Kanepi 6-3 6-3 in just one hour and eight minutes.

All but One (Venus Williams) of the American ladies have never played in a Grand Slam final.

Another thing Stephens, Vandeweghe and Keys have in common is that they’ve all been to the semi-finals of a Grand Slam tournament before now (Wimbledon Championship), so they definitely aren’t naive.

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