10 September, 2017
Keys has been lights out on hard court all season long and is now playing the best and most consistent tennis we've seen from her. Keys is in her first grand slam final appearance and is 3-3 in final appearances overall for her career. The only time in her career she has reached that many major finals in a season was 2002 (lost all three). The first title Serena won there was back in 1999 and the latest was 2014, a remarkable stretch. The unseeded Stephens-ranked 83rd in the world after taking months off to deal with a foot injury-is now going to her first Grand Slam final. After making it to the final of the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year, she'll try to break through at the home slam. "To stand her with today is incredible, that's what real friendship is".
Saying earlier she was simply happy to be running around on courts, Stephens did a lot of running on Saturday to deny the 22-year-old Keys in what turned out to be a one-sided contest. She broke Keys' serve twice to run away with it 6-3.
In a dramatic eight-minute 11th game, Stephens pounced before claiming victory in the 12th with Williams finally undone by 51 unforced errors.
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"When I got back to playing tennis, it was, like, this is where I want to be", she said.
"It gets easier and easier as time goes on to play each other", Keys said.
"I told Maddie [Keys] I should just retire now", said Stephens post-match. "Just the journey I've been on, I have no words". Should she pull off the upset, Stephens will secure a spot in her first Grand Slam final. She allowed Vandeweghe no time to settle, winning 20 of the first 24 points of the match on her way into a 5-0 lead.