NEW YORK, NY, USA - No.15 seed Madison Keys is through to the US Open final for the first time in her career after putting together a dominant performance to shut out fellow American CoCo Vandeweghe in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2.
“It feels absolutely amazing,” Keys said in her post match press conference. “You know, these are the moments growing up that you dream about, and to be sitting here as a US Open finalist, it feels really amazing.”
Keys barely put a foot out of place during the 66-minute battle; after coming out victorious against Vandeweghe in their two previous clashes this summer, she knew what to expect from her big-hitting opponent. Keys dropped just three points on her serve during the 23-minute opening set, and crushed aggressive returns to neutralize her opponent’s strongest weapon.
Vandeweghe was broken twice in both sets; she got on the scoreboard late in the first to deny Keys three set points, but couldn’t keep her at bay a fourth time as she quickly wrapped up the set.
She put up a stronger challenge in the second set, even pushing Keys to a deuce game on her serve, but Keys wouldn’t be denied and she served out her spot into the final with an ace, her fourth of the match.
“None of it had anything to do with the occasion,” Vandeweghe told press after the match. “It was more Madison played an unbelievable match. I didn't really have much to do with anything out there.
“I think it's hard to look back on it now, the way I'm feeling right now, but it's an amazing experience to be in the semifinal, to be here playing for my country and to know that I worked this hard to get here, but it's a pretty crummy feeling right now.”
The 22-year-old is set to take on Sloane Stephens in an all-American US Open final after Stephens knocked out Venus Williams in a three-set thriller earlier in the night.
“I have known Sloane since we were juniors,” Keys said. “We played junior tournaments together. We have been on Fed Cup teams together. Whenever we are around, we try to go to dinner with each other and hang out.
“I think Sloane is really good at defending, obviously, but I think we're similar in the fact that we both like to try to attack and be on offense. I would say she's probably more comfortable defending and not going for bigger shots before me, but I would say we are very similar in a lot of ways.”
It will be the first all-American final at the US Open since 2002, when Serena Williams defeated Venus, and the first all-American Grand Slam final not involving a Williams since 1990, when Martina Navratilova defeated Zina Garrison at Wimbledon.
And with the victory Keys, currently ranked No.16, is projected to rise to World No.12, and could move as high as No.9 with the US Open title.