U.S. OPEN 2017 • SLOANE STEPHENS IN THE SEMI-FINALS FOR THE FIRST TIME • TO FACE VENUS WILLIAMS

Written by: on 5th September 2017
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USA TENNIS US OPEN 2017
U.S. OPEN 2017 • SLOANE STEPHENS IN THE SEMI-FINALS FOR THE FIRST TIME • TO FACE VENUS WILLIAMS

epa06186593 Sloane Stephens of the US reacts as she plays Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia during their US Open Tennis Championships quarterfinals round match at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, USA, 05 September 2017. The US Open runs through September 10. EPA-EFE/JUSTIN LANE  |

Not Sloan down: Stephens goes full steam ahead into U.S. Open semifinals

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

I don’t even need to see the numbers in order to accurately describe Sloane Stephens’ recent resurgence.

 

All you need to know is the following: when this summer began, I literally had no idea that Sloane Stephens still played tennis. Now she is in the U.S. Open semifinals.

 

That’s right–a player whom I thought had retired is two wins away from winning a Grand Slam title. Granted, I don’t follow the WTA Tour on a daily basis. But I bet even a lot of people who do follow the WTA on the daily thought Sloane was done. After all, she did not play a match in between last summer’s Rio Olympics and the Cincinnati Masters. For those counting, that’s 11 months. So forgive me if I forgot that Sloane is still a thing.

 

But she is more than a thing now. The 24-year-old American began picking up momentum with back-to-back semifinals in Toronto and Cincinnati. Sloane has parlayed that success into an even more improbable run in New York, where she is through to another semifinal–this time at a Grand Slam.

 

She did in the hard way on Tuesday, outlasting Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(4) after two hours and 28 minutes.

 

“It’s incredible; amazing,” Sloane said of being in the semis. “If someone would have told me when I started at Wimbledon that I’d be in the semifinals or making, well, three semifinals back to back, I would have said they’re crazy.”

 

How’s this for crazy? One of the women’s semifinals will pit someone who was ranked No. 934 in the world a month ago (Sloane) against someone who is 37 years old (Venus Williams). Venus also survived a third-set tiebreaker, beating Petra Kvitova 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(2).

 

Sloane vs. Venus. An all-American semifinal. You can bet this time I’m not gonna forget that Sloane still plays tennis. I’m all in for that one.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

 

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