When Madison Keys won her quarterfinal match Wednesday, it really became the “U.S.” Open.
Keys’ 6-3, 6-3 win over Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi locked in an all-American final four in tennis’ last Grand Slam event of the year.
“Oh, my God, it feels so good. We have so many Americans to talk about in the last days of the U.S. Open,” Keys told The Associated Press. “I can’t tell you how many times I have sat in this chair and had to hear, you know, how horrible tennis is in America.”
Keys joins Sloane Stephens, CoCo Vandeweghe and Venus Williams in the semifinals, the first time in 36 years the tournament had four natives in the final two rounds.
“American tennis is headed in the right direction,” Stephens said.
Keys will face Vandeweghe on Thursday, while Stephens will play against Williams, who at 37 is the oldest women’s semifinalist in U.S. Open history.
In 1981, Tracy Austin cruised past Barbara Potter in the semifinals, then outlasted Martina Navratilova for the title. Navratilova beat Chris Evert to reach the final.
The last time four Americans reached the semifinals of a Grand Slam event was in 1985, when Evert and Navratilova joined Zina Garrison and Kathy Rinaldi in the last two rounds of Wimbledon. Navratilova beat Evert for the championship.