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Sloane Stephens would now face either Madison Keys or Coco Vandeweghe, who will play in the second semifinal of the night in a short while.
Sloane is full of nice words for Venus in her on-court interview after the match. Kudos to both players!
This is Stephens' first final of the year! Fell in the semifinals in Toronto and Cincinnati but she overturns a 0-2 record in semifinals this year to reach her first Grand Slam final! What an incredible story!
What a great run by Venus here in Flushing Meadows! Three Grand Slam semifinals in a YEAR! Back to the top-five, Venus!
WHAT A MATCH! Stephens reaches her first Grand Slam final of her career despite being ranked outside the Top 900 just a month ago!
Game, set and match: Sloane Stephens 6-1, 0-6, 7-5 Venus Williams!
40-15: MATCH POINT SLOANE STEPHENS!
30-15: Venus sends a backhand wide and Stephens is TWO points away now!
15-15: GREAT aggression from Venus and she stops the rout!
7 straight points for Stephens
15-0: Venus is looking very tired... Sloane is 3 points away
STAT: Stephens is unbeaten in three-set matches this year. Could Venus break the streak?
Williams 1-6, 6-0, 5-6* Stephens: SLOANE STEPHENS BREAKS! She will SERVE FOR THE MATCH and a place in her FIRST EVER Grand Slam final after Venus hits yet another error!
0-40: From being two points away from the win, Venus Williams hits a forehand unforced error and faces three break points
0-30: WHAT A GET FROM SLOANE STEPHENS, ONCE AGAIN! A netcord from Williams seemed to have earned her the point but Stephens hits a winner off it!
0-15: WHAT A POINT AGAIN! Sloane Stephens comes up with some INCREDIBLE DEFENSIVE SKILLS and she lobs Williams at the net to win the point!
The clock reaches two hours.
Williams 1-6, 6-0, *5-5 Stephens: Great escape by Stephens! What a rally at 30-30!
40-30: WHAT A WINNER BY SLOANE STEPHENS! Comes up with an incredible backhand down-the-line winner with Venus at the net! Could have been down match point but instead, she has a game point!
30-30: Good forehand down-the-line from Venus and she is just TWO points away from the win!
30-15: Williams sends a return long
15-15: WHAT A FOREHAND! Venus comes up with an amazingly angled-forehand winner!
15-0: What a lengthy rally to start the 10th game with! 17 shots!
STAT: The final set is longer than the first and second sets COMBINED!
Williams 1-6, 6-0, 5-4* Stephens: Stephens sends another backhand into the net and Williams SURVIVES the tough service game! Stephens would have to serve to stay in the match.
That Hawk Eye challenge by Venus was just so crucial. Had this happened in Venus' first US Open semi-final 20 years ago, Stephens would have been serving for the match now.
AD-40: A dangerous 102 mph second serve wide and Stephens eventually sends a backhand long! Game point!
40-40: A ball by Venus was called out but after a challenge, it was found to be in! Venus was given the point! Could have been a break for Stephens if she did not challenge!
30-40: A forehand sent long and Stephens earns another break point!
30-30: This double-fault could... hurt
30-15: Excellent wide serve!
15-15: The defense of Stephens is just too good! Venus makes another error at the net
15-0: Great 115 mph serve from Venus!
Williams 1-6, 6-0, *4-4 Stephens: A powerful return from Venus allows her to BREAK BACK and we are level after all! What is there in store for us?
30-40: Stephens hits a volley directly into the net!
30-30: Williams is continuously wasting her opportunities here as Stephens looks to consolidate the break
15-30: Venus sends a return into the net
0-30: Stephens mishits a forehand and Venus has a look at yet another break!
0-15: Stephens sends a backhand wide
STAT: Venus Williams is 8/19 at the net today, while Sloane Stephens is 6/8
Williams 1-6, 6-0, 3-4* Stephens: Stephens comes from *2-3 15-40 down to lead *4-3! Can Venus fight back once more?
40-AD: Another forehand into the net for Venus and Stephens earns her third break point
40-40: GREAT 114 mph first serve after two lets called, and a big forehand winner by Venus saves another break point!
40-AD: INCREDIBLE DEFENSE by Stephens! Venus sends another shot long and it is break point once again!
40-40: Stephens manages to get a powerful forehand back and Venus sends the following shot wide
AD-40: Another BIG body serve!
40-40: What a body serve by Venus!
30-40: A big forehand sent wide by Venus and Stephens earns a break point
30-30: POWERFUL backhand winner from Venus!
15-30: Another shot into the net for Venus, and Stephens earns a look at a break!
15-15: Williams sends a big forehand into the net. The previous game might have given Stephens the momentum!
15-0: Excellent serve out wide by Venus!
Williams 1-6, 6-0, *3-3 Stephens: What a time for an ace! Stephens saves TWO BREAK POINTS and remains on serve! What an escape!
AD-40: Williams sends a backhand return long
40-40: A volley error at the net from Venus and that might just shift the momentum here
30-40: Great serve followed by an even better follow-up to save one of the break points!
15-40: BIG forehand winner from Venus! TWO break points!
15-30: Some impressive patience from Stephens dealing with the stubborn defense of Venus!
0-30: Great aggressive play from Venus and she forces an error from Stephens!
0-15: Stephens sends a forehand long
Williams 1-6, 6-0, 3-2* Stephens: Venus escapes from the brink and saves one game point to take the lead for the first time in the final set!
STAT: This final set, in the midst of just five games, is already longer than the first set and the second set
AD-40: Stephens sends a backhand long!
40-40: This could prove crucial... Venus throws in a double-fault on game point
AD-40: GREAT net play by Venus as she hits a backhand volley winner there!
40-40: WHAT A WAY TO SAVE BREAK POINT! 112 mph ace down-the-tee!
30-40: A forehand into the corner from Stephens causes Venus to hit an error, and it is break point!
30-30: Another return sent into the net
15-30: Could Venus come back from 0-30 down to hold again? Stephens sends a forehand long
0-30: Venus Williams sends a smash LONG!
0-15: A big forehand into the net for Venus
Williams 1-6, 6-0, *2-2 Stephens: WHAT A GAME! Williams prevails in an (extremely) long rally and returns level from 0-2 down!
40-AD: A big forehand sent long by Stephens! Williams' FOURTH break point in the game now!
40-40: Back to deuce! Venus Williams sends another backhand into the net
30-40: The aggression by Stephens just too good for the defense of Venus
A forehand by Venus Williams originally called out but Hawk Eye calls it in! Replay of the point BUT Venus was in total control of that rally
15-40: A forehand unforced error from Venus allows Stephens to save one of them
0-40: Triple break points for Venus!
0-30: A BIG forehand winner from Venus and she has a look at a break!
0-15: Great return by Venus and Stephens can't get to it
Williams 1-6, 6-0, 1-2* Stephens: Williams comes from 0-30 down to hold her serve! Can she find another comeback like what she did against Kvitova in her quarterfinal match?
AD-40: BIG 111 mph serve down-the-tee!
40-40: Venus getting frustrated with herself as she hits a forehand wide
40-30: FINALLY a great backhand by Venus! Game point!
30-30: Stephens sends another return wide
15-30: Stephens nets a backhand
0-30: Yet ANOTHER backhand goes wide for Venus as she totally lost the rhythm on her shots
0-15: Momentum all with Stephens now as Venus makes another error at the net
Williams 1-6, 6-0, *0-2 Stephens: What a rally! A lengthy baseline rally which ends after Venus hits a backhand way wide. Misses two break points and Stephens leads by two games
AD-40: Venus goes for a big forehand and it backfires. Stephens has a game point after saving two break points!
40-40: Wow. This could prove costly. Venus nets a big forehand at the net where she could have easily put it away
30-40: INCREDIBLE defense by Venus! However, she was unable to put the last ball in as Stephens saves one of the break points
15-40: WHAT AN ERROR! Stephens, similar to Venus, hits a big volley into the net! Two break points for Venus
15-30: Stephens sends a forehand wide. Could have been 0-40 if Venus did not make that costly error the point before
15-15: An easy put-away from Venus goes wide! She had the whole court to hit to but Venus hits it out!
0-15: A backhand into the net for Stephens
Williams 1-6, 6-0, 0-1* Stephens: Stephens gets the early break and she stops the rout! Great start to the final set!
30-40: Another HUGE momentum shift in store for us? A forehand goes long and Stephens earns break point!
30-30: Venus sends a forehand wide and could Stephens break here?
30-15: Another great forehand winner from the former US Open champion!
15-15: Big forehand winner from Venus!
0-15: Disappointing way to start the final set as Venus throws in a double-fault
Final set, Venus Williams to serve
SECOND SET: Venus Williams 1-6 6-0 Sloane Stephens
WHAT A TURNAROUND! Venus Williams comes from 1-6 15-40 down to send the match into a deciding set after just 54 MINUTES of play!
40-AD: Set point for Williams! A backhand sent long by Stephens
40-40: EXCELLENT forehand get from Venus! Turns defense into offense and she returns to deuce!
AD-40: A forehand return directly lands in the net
40-40: Backhand error from Stephens and Venus is two points away from a deciding set
40-30: WHAT A VOLLEY! Venus goes up to the net and hits a volley drop shot, but Stephens retrieves it. Quick reactions from the 37-year-old and she hits a winner off it! Applauded by Stephens as well!
40-15: Another poor backhand error by Venus and Stephens has two game points!
30-15: Great forehand winner from Stephens to end off a lengthy rally!
15-15: That forehand from the seven-time Grand Slam champion is still as formidable as before!
15-0: First bad error from Venus this set
Williams 1-6, 5-0* Stephens: This is getting ridiculous! 47 minutes and we are just ONE game away from a deciding set! Who would have expected such a turnaround?
The first game of the second set was indeed very crucial. What would have happened if Stephens managed to convert any of her three break points in that game?
Stephens serving to prevent the bagel right now
40-15: A backhand sent long by Stephens and two game points for Venus
30-15: Apparently not! Great 112 mph serve from the 2017 Australian Open and Wimbledon finalist
15-15: Could it be a momentum shift? Venus throws in an unexpected double-fault
15-0: Stephens sends a backhand return into the net
Williams 1-6, *4-0 Stephens: WHAT A TURNAROUND! The crowd is hyped after Venus hits a clean volley winner at the net for a double-break advantage! Surely, a third-set now?
30-40: Good serve which forces an error from Venus
15-40: Stephens is completely losing the plot as she sends her usually-consistent backhand wide
15-30: Another powerful forehand for Venus and she has a look at a break
15-15: Great ace down-the-tee for Stephens!
0-15: Another huge forehand return winner by Venus!
Williams 1-6, 3-0* Stephens: The young American hits a forehand right into the net and Williams consolidates the break! What a huge turnaround here.
Crowd is mainly supporting Venus in Arthur Ashe, could Stephens adapt to the conditions? First time in a while when Stephens wasn't the crowd favourite
40-0: A return sent long by Stephens and it is three game points for Williams!
30-0: That forehand of Venus is something not to mess with currently
15-0: Venus is on fire right now. Dictating play very well!
Williams 1-6, *2-0 Stephens: This double-fault by Stephens could prove VERY costly. Venus breaks and takes the early lead in the second set!
30-40: Excellent forehand winner from Stephens after using her backhand to open the court!
15-40: WHAT A BACKHAND! Venus is finally finding her groove and she earns two break points!
15-30: BIG forehand return winner from Venus!
15-15: Stephens sends a backhand long
15-0: Great return from Venus but she hits the following shot long
Williams 1-6, 1-0* Stephens: The crowd roars after Venus saves THREE break points in the opening game of the second set to hold serve! This couldn't be more crucial for Venus!
AD-40: Great backhand from Venus! Another game point!
40-40: Venus sends another forehand long and Stephens returns to deuce
AD-40: Second game point after a powerful serve!
40-40: A costly miss from Venus as she hits a forehand long in a rally which she was controlling
AD-40: A forehand error from Stephens and Venus earns a game point!
40-40: Venus hits a great forehand winner! Back to deuce
40-AD: INCREDIBLE backhand passing shot from Stephens while Venus charged into the net!
40-40: Deuce! Stephens sends a return wide
30-40: Big forehand winner from Venus! Can she find her groove soon?
15-40: Those unforced errors just keep coming in... another double-fault from Venus and Stephens earns two break points
15-30: AMAZING backhand down-the-line winner from Williams! First good shot from her today
0-30: Another netted shot for Venus
0-15: Great lob from Stephens!
Second set, Venus Williams to serve
First set statistics:
Venus sent 71 percent of first serves in but only won half of those points. Furthermore, she only won one point behind her first serve. 5 winners and 17 unforced errors
Sloane won 73 percent of her first serve points and just lost six points on her serve. 6 winners and 5 unforced errors
FIRST SET: Venus Williams 1-6 Sloane Stephens
This is an incredibly poor set played by Venus, while Stephens is solid but doesn't have to do much as the 37-year-old are gifting her too many free points.
The intensity and power are not there from Venus, who looks very nervous after being the favourite to clinch the title. Can the legendary American make a huge comeback here?
40-0: Easy put-away at the net for the underdog and she has THREE set points
30-0: Unreturnable serve from Stephens
15-0: Venus nets another forehand
Williams 1-5* Stephens: Double-fault from Venus at the most crucial moment. She is looking very nervous at the moment but Stephens is serving for the set now
15-40: Williams is looking way too erratic
15-30: Big serve from Venus saves her from the brink
0-30: Another bad error from Venus as Stephens produces some incredible defense
0-15: Excellent backhand winner down-the-line from Stephens!
Stephens: 4 winners to 5 unforced errors
Williams: 4 winners to 13 unforced errors
Williams *1-4 Stephens: Nonetheless, Stephens consolidates the break and Venus finds herself in some huge danger now
Hawk Eye challenge! Venus gets it right after her return was called long, but was found out to be clipping the line! Replay of the point
40-30: Stephens goes for the backhand cross-court winner but nets it instead
40-15: Two game points for Stephens as Venus sends another backhand long
30-15: Excellent angled-forehand right on the line for Venus!
30-0: Williams sends a 71 mph serve return long
15-0: Great backhands for Stephens!
Williams 1-3* Stephens: First break of the match goes to Stephens! Venus hitting way too many errors today
30-40: Stephens is the more solid and consistent player today. Her reward? A break point!
30-30: Venus hits another shot sent into the net and that is NINE unforced errors in this match already
30-15: Venus sends a forehand into the net once again
30-0: Excellent follow-up to a 114 mph serve
15-0: Good depth on Venus' backhand
Williams *1-2 Stephens: Tight hold for the first-time US Open semifinalist
AD-40: The net seems to be an enemy for Venus today. Most of her shots landed into it
40-40: First deuce of the match! Stephens in some early troubles on her serve as well
40-30: The seven-time Grand Slam champion gifts Stephens a game point with a forehand error
30-30: Could Venus break here? Stephens sends a backhand into the net
30-15: Stephens goes up to the net and forces an error from her opponent
15-15: Good return from Venus which allows her to be aggressive from the first stroke of the rally
15-0: Nicely-done forehand winner from Stephens to end a long rally!
Williams 1-1* Stephens: The 24-year-old mishits a forehand and allows Venus to hold serve narrowly
40-30: A 116 mph serve saves the 37-year-old from the brink!
30-30: First forehand winner from Venus which directly lands on the line!
15-30: Confidence-boosting ace for Williams! Great serve out wide
0-30: Venus doesn't look good early on as she is very inconsistent on her groundstrokes
0-15: A forehand into the net for Williams
Williams *0-1 Stephens: Quick hold from Sloane as Venus is unable to find the rhythm on her backhands
40-15: A backhand return from Venus goes directly into the net
30-15: Williams sends a backhand wide
15-15: First double-fault for Stephens
15-0: Great one-two punch which ends with a forehand winner for Stephens
Sloane Stephens to serve. Ready? Play
STAT: Sloane Stephens was just ranked No.934 a month ago! Her run to the semifinals of the US Open will bring her to 34th in the rankings! That is NINE HUNDRED (900) spots!
Alison Hughes is the umpire of our match today!
The players are currently in the tunnel waiting to go onto the court!
Match Prediction: Venus Williams in three sets
Both players input a lot of power into their game but in my opinion, Williams' years of experiences might just get her through this one
10 more minutes!
Good evening to people in New York! We are just about 15 minutes away from action!
Do return at 7 pm ET for the live commentary and updates of this interesting match-up! Who would prevail in this clash? Find out tomorrow!
Head to Head: Sloane Stephens 1-0 Venus Williams
Their only meeting came in the first round of the French Open back in 2015, with Stephens triumphing in straight sets. However, this meeting would have a totally different atmosphere with this being a semifinal and in New York, in front of an American crowd. They have not had any meetings on a hard court and this will definitely be an unpredictable match which could go either way.
Impressive victories over the in-form Ashleigh Barty and Julia Goerges followed to set up a quarter-final meeting with 16th seed Anastasija Sevastova, who was appearing in her second consecutive quarterfinal appearance in New York and having just defeated Maria Sharapova. Recovering from a 1-3 deficit in the decider, Stephens’ dream run continued after prevailing in a final-set tiebreak, sending her into the semifinals.
As compared to Venus, Stephens’ run to the semifinals was even much tougher especially when all her opponents were ranked in the Top 50. The world number 84, who is projected to rise back into the Top 40 after the fortnight, overcame a tough first-round opponent as she defeated 2015 finalist Roberta Vinci in straight sets. Stephens then earned her second Top 10 win of her comeback against Dominika Cibulkova, triumphing in three tough sets.
Facing birthday girl Carla Suarez Navarro in the fourth round, Williams battled to a three-set victory after an hour and 50 minutes of play. In what could be the match of the tournament, the veteran then powered herself to an incredible 2 hour and 34-minute win over Petra Kvitova, triumphing in a final-set tiebreak having recovered from a 1-3 deficit. It was truly an impressive performance from Williams, whose serve looked consistent and reliable throughout the encounter.
Venus Williams had quite a clear path to the semifinals, losing just two sets in the process. The 37-year-old became one of the few players to reach the second week in every Grand Slam this year when she got past some tough opponents like Oceane Dodin in the second round.
STAT: Stephens’ only losses during the US Open Series came against Top 10 players, and ALL her wins this year came against Top 50 opponents.
Look at Stephens’ impressive run here:
Rogers Cup Toronto
d. #48 Yulia Putintseva 6-7 6-0 6-4
d. #14 Petra Kvitova 7-6 3-6 6-2
d. #3 Angelique Kerber 6-2 6-2
d. #41 Lucie Safarova 6-2 1-6 7-5 (saved three match points)
l. #6 Caroline Wozniacki 2-6 3-6
Western and Southern Open Cincinnati
d. #36 Lucie Safarova 6-4 7-6
d. #13 Petra Kvitova 6-2 6-3
d. #39 Ekaterina Makarova 2-6 6-3 6-4
d. #37 Julia Goerges 6-1 7-6
l. #2 Simona Halep 2-6 1-6
Returning from a serious foot injury which kept her in a bandage and unable to walk properly for a couple of months, Stephens is definitely the clear winner for the “WTA Comeback Player of the Year”. After two consecutive losses in Wimbledon and Washington, Stephens stormed back to reach the semifinals in Toronto and Cincinnati, both Premier 5 tournaments.
Look at Williams’ Grand Slam runs this year:
Australian Open (Final)
d. #101 Kateryna Kozlova 7-6 7-5
d. #112 Stefanie Voegele 6-3 6-2
d. #87 Duan Yingying 6-1 6-0
d. #181 Mona Barthel 6-3 7-5
d. #27 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4 7-6
d. #35 Coco Vandeweghe 6-7 6-2 6-3
l. #2 Serena Williams 4-6 4-6
French Open (R4)
d. #52 Wang Qiang 6-4 7-6
d. #90 Kurumi Nara 6-3 6-1
d. #60 Elise Mertens 6-3 6-1
l. #31 Timea Bacsinszky 7-5 2-6 1-6
Wimbledon Championships (Final)
d. #54 Elise Mertens 7-6 6-4
d. #55 Wang Qiang 4-6 6-4 6-1
d. #59 Naomi Osaka 7-6 6-4
d. #29 Ana Konjuh 6-3 6-2
d. #13 Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 7-5
d. #7 Johanna Konta 6-4 6-2
l. #15 Garbine Muguruza 5-7 0-6
What an impressive season it has been for Venus Williams. Reaching THREE Grand Slam semifinals and clinching the most wins at the four biggest tournaments on the tour, the American produced one of the most incredible stories of the year. Coming back from the lowest point of her career, Williams finds herself back looking for another Grand Slam title at the age of 37, THIRTY-SEVEN.
Who would have expected this at the start of the fortnight? Ninth seed Venus Williams, making her NINTH semifinal appearance at the US Open after reaching her first exactly 20 years ago back in 1997. Comeback kid Sloane Stephens, entering the main draw with a protected ranking and being out of the game for 11 months, reaching the semifinals in Flushing Meadows for the first time in her career.
A clash of incredible stories, Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens will battle it out for a place in the final. Either Venus will reach her fifth final, or Sloane will reach her first ever Grand Slam final.
Welcome to the live coverage of the US Open semifinal match between Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens! My name is Don Han, and I am happy to be bringing you point-by-point coverage of this encounter here on VAVEL. From now until the match begins at 7 pm ET, news and notes will be above to get you up to speed. Be sure to return at match time for point-by-point updates!