NEW YORK, NY, USA - For the first time since 2002, four American women have advanced to the quarterfinals of the US Open. Led by 37-year-old Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens, who booked their quarterfinal spots on Sunday, Madison Keys and CoCo Vandeweghe battled their way into their first US Open quarterfinals on Monday. Seeded No.20, Vandeweghe bested Lucie Safarova, 6-4, 7-6(2), while No.15 Keys rallied for a break down in the decider to oust No.4 Elina Svitolina, 7-6(2), 1-6, 6-4.
Remarkably, Venus was on of the five American women to advance to the quarterfinal stage in New York in 2002, along with sister Serena Williams, Keys' coach Lindsay Davenport, Jennifer Capriati, and Monica Seles. That year featured an all-American quarterfinal between Venus and Seles, which Venus won, as well as an all-American semifinal between Serena and Davenport. The final would square off No.1 Serena vs. No.2 Venus, with Serena reigning victorious. That was the last time the US Open featured an all-American final.
"I've played on a Fed Cup team with all of them, including Venus," Keys said after her emotional late-night win. "I was at the Olympics with all of them. So I think we're all cheering for each other. To see Sloane coming back from a long injury, having to have surgery. I mean, Coco is always a force to be reckoned with. I don't think anyone is totally surprised about that. Venus has made two slam finals."
"I'm not really surprised that anyone got this far, but I think we're all cheering for each other, excited that there's four of us in the quarters."
"I think it shows how hard we've been working," Keys said. "I think it's just really exciting. I'm really happy that none of us are playing each other in the quarterfinals."
The quarterfinal lineup:
Venus Williams vs. Petra Kvitova
Sloane Stephens vs. Anastasija Sevastova
CoCo Vandeweghe vs. Karolina Pliskova
Madison Keys vs. Kaia Kanepi
The last time four Americans progressed to the semifinals at the US Open was 1981, when Martina Navratilova defeated Chris Evert and Tracy Austin defeated Bilynda Potter. The last time there was an all-American semifinal at any Slam was in 1985 at Wimbledon, when Martina Navratilova defeated Chris Evert. The last time there was an all-American final at any Slam was earlier this year, when Serena defeated Venus to win the Australian Open.