The 2017 US Open women’s final: Keys vs. Stephens

FROM THE US OPEN, FRIDAY, SEPT. 8 – Americans are quite pleased with the surprising women’s single final: the 22-year-old Madison Keys versus the 24-year-old Sloane Stephens.

Somewhat amazingly, Keys and Stephens have only played once, in 2015 Miami, Stephens out-ran Keys 6-4, 6-2. They have practiced we each other often, and say they are fast friends, but once they walk on court at the final at the US Open, they will forget about holding hands and lock in.   

Both of them have played spectacular matches during the past 12 days, swinging very hard, not giving up when you are down, running and running, believing yourself.

Keys can hit huge shots with her first serve, forehand and backhand. Stephens is very fast, and when she is ready, she can kiss the lines, being so powerful. So, she can be perfect, or she can slip. Her goal should be not to over-hit when she isn’t consistent, and when she is finally ready to attack, then she will push forward.

Too often Stephens backs off, trying to be steady. If her opponent isn’t making a ton of errors, then she has to be change tactics and be aggressive. Neither Keys not Stephens have reached a final at the Grand Slams before. They want it so bad to reach the final that they can taste it. They are very, very good, but one of them will be a little too nervous and make too many errors at the end. If Keys is patient when she needs to be, she will win. If Sloane is willing to go for it when it is super tight, she will win. A toss up, but a very fun one.