US Open, 🇺🇸🍎🗽🚕 Final Preview + Prediction
🏆 (15) 🇺🇸 Madison Keys vs 🇺🇸 Sloane Stephens
The new generation is here! Two African American women are into the final of the U.S Open, neither of them named Williams. Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens will square off for the final Grand Slam title of 2017 at Flushing Meadows, a maiden Grand Slam title is up for grabs, it will be a life changing moment for the winner. No one could have predicted this final at the start of the tournament, Keys and Stephens both brought good form into New York but both have only just recently returned to competitive actions after frustrating injury setbacks.
After all the setbacks, both will leave everything out on the court on Saturday in what should be a highly competitive final. This match-up will features an interesting contrast in styles, the extreme power of Keys up against the incredible athleticism of Stephens. it was Sloane Stephens won the only previous match between the pair in straight sets in Miami of 2015. Who will step up and rise to the occasion?
Madison Keys has romped into the first Grand Slam final, dropping a combined 9 games through her quarter-final and semi-final matches. Keys cruised past Kaia Kanepi 6-3 6-3 and booked her spot in Saturday’s final with a dominant 6-1 6-2 win over CoCo Vandeweghe. Keys played a nearly flawless match in her semi-final victory over Vandeweghe, Keys hit 25 winners to just 9 unforced errors in what was the most important match of her career thus far. Prior to those convincing wins Keys had to work hard for 3 set wins over Elena Vesnina and Elina Svitolina. Keys must be considered the form player on tour having won 12 of her last 13 matches, her only loss was against Garbine Muguruza in Cincinnati where she held 3 match points. The only negative for Keys is that she took a medical timeout to get her right thigh taped late in her semi-final win over Vandeweghe.
Sloane Stephens has taken the tough route to her first Grand Slam final, 4 out of 6 of Stephens victories have been 3 set wins, including two epic victories in her last few matches. Stephens came from a break down in the deciding set of her quarter-final clash with Anastasija Sevastova, finally winning in a final set tiebreak. Stephens booked her spot in Sunday’s final with a hard-fought 6-1 0-6 7-5 win over Venus Williams. Stephens played some of the best tennis of her career in the final couple of games of her semi-final win, Sloane’s defensive skills were as good as it gets and she ultimately ran Venus into the ground. If Sloane can maintain that level in the final she is going to be very difficult to beat.
I’m going to give the edge to Sloane Stephens here. Madison Keys has a tendency to struggle against counter-punchers, Keys has a poor record against players such as Halep, Kerber and Wozniacki. Stephens displayed movement and defensive skills in her semi-final win over Venus Williams that rivaled the previous names mentioned. In a big match, I think the game of Keys is more likely to breakdown under pressure, especially in this match-up given Sloane can move so well and keep putting pressure on Keys to come up with big shots. There is likely to big some big swing in momentum throughout the match but ultimately Stephens will be more solid when it matters most to capture a historic Grand Slam title.