Venus Williams led four players from the host nation into the semi-finals for the first time in 36 years and boasted more wins in NY than the other three put together.
Stephens actually hit fewer winners than Keys overall but only had six unforced errors, significantly less than Keys' final tally of 30. Stephens was recovering from a broken foot, while Keys was recovering from wrist surgery. In 2013, Stephens vaulted into the spotlight as a teenager when she beat Serena Williams at the Australian Open.
"I can't tell you how many times I have sat in this chair and had to hear how frightful tennis is in America", said Keys. Interestingly, there will be a final round for both the players Stephens and the Keys on Sep 10th. "I told Maddy I'm never going to be able to top this", Stephens said, drawing laughs from the crowd.
"Just hard work", an emotional Stephens said after her 6-1, 0-6, 7-5 victory against Williams.
Stephens played her usual defensive tennis, forcing her opponent to make the extra shot and testing her patience.
She is now on a run of 14 wins in 16 matches and through to her first major final. "If it was the other way round, I know she would have done the same for me". I got a lot of matches in. In the second set Stephens won over half of her return points and had a plethora of break points, converting a third match point to take the title in just 1 hour 3 minutes overall, and 31 minutes in the second set. When I started my comeback, if someone had told me I would have made two semi-finals and a grand slam final, I would have just passed out, which I'm ready to do now.
"I am honoured to play at the same time as one of the greats of the game".