Coco Gauff at the 2023 US Open. (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for rolling out.)
Two Black women play in 2023 U.S. Open semifinals as Madison Keys joins Coco Gauff
One-time U.S. Open finalist #17 Madison Keys joined teenage tennis sensation Coco Gauff, who is ranked #6, in the 2023 U.S. Open semifinals with a 6-1, 6-4 win last night over #9 Markéta Vondroušová. Coco Gauff will play #10 Karolína Muchová shortly after 7 p.m. tonight, and Madison Keys will take on #2 Aryna Sabalenka immediately after at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York.If both Gauff and Keys win tonight, it will mark the fifth time Black women have matched up in the U.S. Open finals. Both women look to become the sixth Black woman to capture the U.S .Open women’s championship.
Venus Williams defeated her younger sister Serena Williams in the first matchup between Black women in the 2001 U.S. Open Final. At the 2002 U.S. Open Final, Serena defeated Venus to win it all.In 2017, Sloane Stephens defeated Madison Keys in the U.S. Open Final, and a year later, Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams to win the 2018 U.S. Open women’s title.
In total, five Black women have won the U.S. Open women’s championship 13 times, starting with Althea Gibson, who won the 1957 and 1958 U.S. Open women’s titles. A sculpture of Gibson was unveiled four years ago in front of Arthur Ashe Stadium. Gibson died in 2003.
Serena Williams, who retired after the 2022 U.S. Open and had her second child last month, became the second Black woman to win the U.S. Open women’s title in 1999. She repeated the feat in 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Venus Williams won the U.S. Open women’s championship in 2000 and 2001, becoming the third Black woman to do so.
Sloane Stephens won the 2017 U.S. Open women’s title, with Naomi Osaka winning it all in 2018 and 2020 when she also took a social justice stand by wearing face masks with the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Philando Castile and Tamir Rice.
As a bonus, admission to the U.S. Open grounds is free today before 6 p.m. Though a ticket to watch the US Open Women’s semifinals must be purchased separately, it is a great way to pick up US Open souvenirs, sample food by Black women-owned businesses like Melba’s and the Crabby Shack or try the cuisine of chef Kwame Onwuachi at Champions Bar and Grill. Finally, you can watch the matches of both Gauff and Keys outside of Arthur Ashe Stadium on the giant plasma screen. Grounds Passes are also available for the final three days of the U.S. Open for only $25, which includes Ben Shelton in the US Open Men’s semifinals on Friday.
Source: Rolling Out