Madison Keys vs Sloane Stephens: What You Need to Know

After a tournament full of upsets, two young Americans - Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens - are left standing to battle it out for the 2017 US Open title. Here’s what you need to know about the final.

Both of them have come back from major injuries this year. Keys missed the first two months of the season recovering from a wrist injury, while Stephens missed 11 months - from early August last year to late June this year - due to a foot injury. Both of them underwent surgery for their injuries, too.

This is the 10th all-American women’s final at the US Open in the Open Era. The last one came 15 years ago at the 2002 US Open with Serena Williams outslugging Venus Williams, 6-4 6-3.

Both are playing their first major final, but both had been to a semifinal before. And both in Australia - Stephens was the first to reach a major semifinal, doing it at the Australian Open in 2013.

Keys reached her first major semifinal at the Australian Open in 2015, falling to Serena Williams, who touted her to win majors in her on-court interview - check out match point and her comments here:

At No.83, Stephens is the second-lowest-ranked woman in a US Open final in the Open Era. The lowest wasn’t even ranked - an unranked Kim Clijsters went all the way to the title back in 2009.

Stephens went into the US Open Series at No.957. Just by reaching the final she’s guaranteed to break back into the Top 25 - so in just over a month she’ll have cut her ranking by over 900 spots.

Keys has been serving it up the last two weeks. She’s been clocked as fast as 119mph at Flushing Meadows this year, third only to Venus Williams (121mph) and Petra Martic (120mph).

And finally, they’ve only played once before. They’re from the same generation of American players and have been Fed Cup teammates, but Keys and Stephens only have one career meeting going into the 2017 US Open final - Stephens won in the second round of Miami in 2015, 6-4 6-2.

To whet your appetite, here are some highlights from Stephens’ semifinal win over Venus Williams:

And here are highlights from Keys’ semifinal masterclass against giant-killer CoCo Vandeweghe:

Read more articles by John Berkok

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