The US Open started with 128 participants, but now only four women remain in the competition.
After enduring intense competition and high temperatures for nearly two weeks in New York, the semifinalists have been determined for the last major tournament of 2023.
Coco Gauff, an American teenager, will compete against Czech player Karolína Muchová, who is currently ranked number 10 in the world. Similarly, world number 2 Aryna Sabalenka will be playing against Madison Keys, a beloved local player.
Before the US Open women’s semifinals, here is all the information you should be aware of.
How to watch
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, Gauff and Muchová will begin the events in Arthur Ashe Stadium, followed by Keys and Sabalenka.
Audiences in the United States have the option to view all the events on ESPN, while the games will be televised on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.
Gauff vs. Muchová
For the observant fans, this particular match-up may be fresh in your memory.
The two took to the court just under three weeks ago in the final of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, with Gauff winning in straight sets to claim to biggest title of her career.
She achieved success in Ohio while Gauff was performing at her peak level in her developing tennis career, and she has carried this momentum into the US Open.
The American’s most recent outing at Flushing Meadows was another impressive performance, beating Jelena Ostapenko with ease for her 10th victory in a row.
Gauff has experienced a bit of a coming-of-age tournament, and it seems she may have a chance to win her first grand slam title. However, she maintains that she is not getting ahead of herself.
Gauff stated that there is still a significant amount of tennis to be played. She believes that she is still at the start of the tournament, rather than nearing the end. She has reminded herself that she still has two more weeks to compete.
Currently, I am feeling mentally rejuvenated, which I believe was the issue I faced in previous grand slam events. I would often find myself emotionally exhausted.
Muchová is widely perceived as the less-favored competitor compared to Gauff, even though she has been displaying exceptional performance and has climbed up to a personal best ranking of No. 10 in the global standings.
The player from the Czech Republic reached the final of the French Open earlier this year but ultimately lost. However, she has only lost one set on her way to the semifinal, showcasing a remarkable comeback after facing multiple injuries last year that put her career in jeopardy.
“How can I define mental fortitude?” Muchová pondered. “I’ve always considered myself a resilient person, which has aided me in my tennis career. However, there are certainly good days and bad days.”
She stated, “I am not comfortable revealing all the strategies and keys. Instead, I will concentrate on my own performance. She is incredibly athletic and tenacious, always chasing after every ball and rarely making errors. She possesses a wide range of shots.”
Keys vs. Sabalenka
In the second semifinal of the day, an American player with the support of the crowd will face off against a European opponent as Keys goes up against Sabalenka from Belarus.
The 17th-seeded player Keys is experiencing a resurgence at the tournament, after falling to Sloane Stephens in the finals in 2017.
She has defeated three top-ranked players on her journey to the semifinals, most recently dominating past Wimbledon champion Markéta Vondroušová in the quarterfinals while using the support of the home crowd for motivation in her triumphs.
“I believe my mindset has been strong leading up to the matches. I’ve made an effort to maintain emotional stability,” Keys stated about her US Open victory over Vondroušová.
This marks her 26th win against a top-10 opponent in her career and paves the way for an intense matchup against Sabalenka, who is currently dominating women’s tennis and has yet to lose a set on her journey to the semifinals.
The Belarusian comfortably defeated Zheng Qinwen in the quarterfinals, securing her fifth consecutive appearance in a grand slam semifinal. This impressive achievement adds to her already impressive record in major quarterfinals, winning all seven of her previous matches. She now ranks second on the all-time list, only behind Chris Evert who holds the remarkable record of winning her first 48 grand slam quarterfinal matches.
The 25-year-old will officially become the top-ranked player in the world when the updated rankings are published on Monday. Sabalenka, who won her first grand slam title at the Australian Open earlier this year, is expected to win her second of the year.
She is the first female to make it to the semifinals in all four major tennis tournaments in a single year since Serena Williams did so in 2016. She credits her previous performances for teaching her valuable lessons.
Sabalenka stated that she had faced some challenging defeats this year, but she believes that every loss is an opportunity to learn and grow. She also mentioned that she is gaining valuable experience and becoming more resilient.