The future of the American tennis scene has arrived on the most fitting of stages. Madison Keys will play Sloane Stephens in the 2017 US Open final.
The 2017 US Open was expected to be a golden opportunity for the Top 10 players in the world to gain separation from the pack. With Serena Williams out and Maria Sharapova viewed as more of a story than a contender, the stage was set for a final leap to elite status.
Instead, the 2017 US Open has become the launching pad for the American tennis scene to return to its once glorious status as the class of the sport.
The Americans will need far more than just one Grand Slam in order to become the cream of the crop. Progress has been made, however, and that’s worth both praising and evaluating as a sign of things to come.
For those unfamiliar, the all-American semifinal at the 2017 US Open has resulted in the future of the sport taking center stage in a promising final.
Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens are not only two of the most promising players on the WTA Tour, but two of the youngest stars on the rise.
At 22 years of age, Keys has already made the US Open final, the semifinals at the Australian Open, and the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. If the following comment seems untrue, know that it’s valid—and admittedly eery.
At 24 years of age, Stephens has already made the US Open final, the semifinals at the Australian Open, and the quarterfinals at Wimbledon—the same as Keys.
Both women have also reached the fourth round at the French Open, thus further building essentially identical Grand Slam resumes.
One will put the finishing touches on their rise to Grand Slam lore.
Historically, Keys and Stephens are now the first American women other than the Williams sisters to play in a Grand Slam final since Lindsay Davenport in 2005. One will become the first American woman other than the Williams sisters to win a Grand Slam title since Jennifer Capriati in 2002.
Regardless of who emerges victorious, both Keys and Stephens will have successfully pushed the future of American tennis in the right direction.
Thanks to Madison Keys, Sloane Stephens, Coco Vandeweghe, and Venus Williams, the future of American tennis is as bright as it’s ever been.