Two Black Women Reach U.S. Open Women’s Singles Semi-Finals

By Sameer Rao Sep 06, 2017

Even with new motherhood taking Serena Williams out of this year’s U.S. Open, African-Americans still hold half of the four women’s singles semifinals spots now that Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens scored decisive victories yesterday (September 5).

The Root reported yesterday that Williams and Stephens will square off in tomorrow’s (September 7) semifinals match. The older Williams sister earned her spot with a quarterfinals win against the Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova yesterday (September 5), while Stephens beat Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova in her own quarterfinals match the same day.

The Root adds that Stephens’ win makes her the first U.S. player, besides the Williams sisters, to make the U.S. Open women’s singles semifinals. The Guardian reported in 2015 that Stephens defeated Venus Williams at that year’s French Open. She later lost a quarterfinals match against Serena Williams, who Stephens previously defeated at the 2013 Australian Open.

ESPN‘s bracket shows that U.S. player Madison Keys, who The New York Times reported has a Black father and White mother, faces Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi in one of two remaining quarterfinal matches tonight (September 6). If Keys wins that match and a semifinals one, it will mark the first time since the Williams sisters’ 2002 match that two Black women reached the U.S. Open women’s singles final. 

U.S. Open singles matches usually take place at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in the Queens borough of New York City, which is named for one of the first Black players to break the color barrier in international tennis.