Madison Keys defeats Kaia Kanepi to set up all-American semifinals

The world number 16 looked convincing in her quarter-final victory over Estonia's Kaia Kanepi and will have the momentum going into the clash against CoCo Vandeweghe.

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.

Pliskova then eased through a service hold to put the pressure on the American's shoulders but after a tense game Vandeweghe held her nerve on her second match point to book a semi-final meeting with compatriot Madison Keys, the 15th seed, or Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi who meet in the night session.

"Oh, my God, it feels so good".

"I texted Lindsay to have a speech ready for when I got here", Keys said.

The four Americans in the 1981 U.S. Open semifinals were Martina Navratilova, Chris Event, Tracy Austin and Barbara Potter. The last time it happened in a major was at Wimbledon in 1985 (Evert, Zina Garrison, Navratilova and Kathy Rinaldi).

Of even greater significance is the fact Williams will now meet fellow African-American star Stephens on the court named after the first black man to win a grand slam tournament, in 1968.

Against Svitolina, Keys compiled a 19-4 edge in winners in the opening set, then had problems at the start of each of the remaining two sets. Capriati and Seles fell in the quarterfinals, while Davenport made it into the semifinals. The more you get used to it, the better I think you get at channeling what you want the crowd to do for you, whether it's to pump you up, to calm you down. She also won her fifth career title at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio, this summer. It also assured the first all-American Open final since 2002 when the Williams sisters hooked up.

"Madison is a player that can take control of the points and of the rallies", Vandeweghe said.

"You will have to ask him how he's been able to do that. I'm really happy that none of us are playing each other in the quarter-finals". She's the player with the memorable facial expression and racket smash.

"It's just really exciting". "It was her first time on Ashe so I tried to take advantage of that".

Pliskova did not exactly heap praise on her opponent afterward.

"I've played on a Fed Cup team with all of them, including Venus", Keys said. "She can play much worse than she was playing today". "It's the norm, it was normal for me to go to basketball games and do what the heck I wanted at the basketball arenas or have these famous people come up to me and say, 'Oh, you're Tauna Vandeweghe's daughter or Ernie Vandweghe's granddaughter.' That's just who I am".

  • Julie Sanders