All-American women’s semi-finals set at US Open

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    History has been made at the US Open, with the women’s semi-final line-up to consist entirely of Americans for the first time since 1981.

    A day after Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens set up an all-American semi-final showdown in the bottom half of the draw, Coco Vandeweghe and Madison Keys both met their ends of the bargain, guaranteeing an American champion at Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2014.

    Both Vandeweghe and Keys advanced to their first US Open semi-finals, and also their second Grand Slam semi-finals overall, by defeating Karolina Pliskova and Kaia Kanepi in their respective quarter-finals in straight sets.

    Vandeweghe, a semi-finalist at the Australian Open in January, was the first of the pair to advance, defeating top seed Pliskova. The Czech’s loss ensures Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza will become the fourth player this year to claim the world number one ranking, despite the Spaniard’s straight-sets loss to Petra Kvitova in the fourth round.

    Muguruza will become the first top female player from her country since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1995, a remarkable turnaround after failing to defend her French Open title in June.

    Meanwhile, 15th seed Madison Keys dispatched qualifier Kaia Kanepi with a break in each set to win in one hour and eight minutes, thereby reaching her first US Open semi-final, and first since the 2015 Australian Open.

    After enduring a delayed start to this season due to a wrist injury, which forced her to miss the Australian Open, the 22-year-old has hit form at the right time, claiming her first title for the year in Stanford by defeating her opponent in this morning’s semi-final, Coco Vandeweghe, in the final.

    This means Venus Williams is the only woman from the four remaining to have won a Major title, let alone reached a final. Regardless, it will be the first local champion not named Serena Williams since 2001.

    Serena Williams serving

    In the men’s draw, world number one Rafael Nadal moved one step closer to a third US Open title after dispatching Russian teen Andrey Rublev in straight sets.

    The Spaniard won in a canter, dropping just five games in one hour and 36 minutes to affirm his favouritism for the title.

    He will face Juan Martin del Potro, who dispatched Roger Federer in the other quarter-final.

    Matches to watch on Night 11
    Arthur Ashe Stadium – play starts at 7pm (Friday 9am AEST)
    [9] Venus Williams (USA) versus Sloane Stephens (USA)
    [20] CoCo Vandeweghe (USA) versus [15] Madison Keys (USA)