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Three Black Women Advance to US Open Semifinals

07 September 2017

First, there was the ongoing battle between eight women who could claim the No1 rankings.

"Being on Fed Cup teams with her, there's not anything bad you can say about Venus".

Sevastova had knocked out Maria Sharapova in the previous round and twice led by a break in the decider.

By the quarter-finals, both the Wimbledon and French Open champions-Muguruza and Jelena Ostapenko-were out, and the defending U.S. champion Angelique Kerber was long gone.

There was not much to split Venus and 13th seed Kvitova in NY but the latter's 45 unforced errors compared to 29 proved to be her downfall after two hours, 34 minutes.

With the daring groundstrokes that brought her fame over two decades ago, Williams charged out to a 6-1 lead in the tiebreak.

She will face unseeded Sloane Stephens on Thursday in the first all-American women's semifinal in NY since 2002.

And her next opponent is none other than fellow dope black woman, Sloane Stephens.

Here, too, were emotional storylines of triumph over adversity.

There is a point where you say, I'm not ever letting this go.

Kvitova returned to the tour in late May at the French Open. Roared on by the NY crowd, the 2000 and 2001 champion powered to 6-1 and never looked back.

But then the performance of Williams was proving pretty remarkable, too. Her very first Grand Slam final at the US Open happened back in 1997! But at 37 and with seven Grand Slam titles to her name, those are footnotes to major wins, and it's tough to get motivated for footnotes.

This would be no different, in as compelling and intensely fought a contest as one could wish for.

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Kvitova, whose backhand return was proving tough to handle, again went ahead in the second set with a break courtesy of a victor down the line and she held for 3-0 after saving breakpoints. But for Williams, when she was coming up in the game, it was situation normal. And Venus, at 37, perhaps has never been more appreciated or revered as she has thrived through some personal trials of her own. Kvitova mixed in some fine backhand drop shots contrasting with the flat rockets she drove from that wing saving a pair of break points for 3-0.

In her 19th US Open and in her 76th appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam event - which is a record for the Open era - Williams faces a semi-final on Thursday against 24-year-old Sloane Stephens, who as a black American has always been considered a natural successor to the Williams sisters.

"That's what I will try to play again probably, similar game as today".

Stephens made her comeback from a foot injury only at Wimbledon and was ranked world No 957 at the end of July. Of course that's why I'm playing tennis, and that's why I wanted to be back and playing, and it is a big motivation.

The American had to dig deep in the ninth game, but found a 120mph ace to help her through two deuces to 5-4.

Asia has been fruitful ground for Kvitova in the past and she's hoping it will be again.

Williams reiterated that she still has the love.

- South Africa's Kevin Anderson ended the run of local hope Sam Querrey with a 7-6 (5) 6-7 (9) 6-3 7-6 (7) victory in three hours and 26 minutes.

"I'm firmly a person that lives in the future", Williams said after her Sunday night win over Carla Suarez Navarro. Tomorrow, Coco Vandeweghe will take on Pliskova and Keys will face Kanepi to see whether the American dream can continue.

The American also became the oldest semi-finalist in the Grand Slam tournament's history.

But for the moment, it is the Williams storyline that dominates.

Venus Williams rolled back the years to move into the semi finals of the US Open.

Three Black Women Advance to US Open Semifinals