The US Open women’s draw started with 128 participants, but it has now narrowed down to only four remaining players.
After enduring intense competition in the scorching New York weather for nearly two weeks, the semifinalists have been determined for the last of the four major tennis tournaments of 2023.
Coco Gauff, a teenager from America, will be playing against the Czech Republic’s 10th ranked player Karolína Muchová. Meanwhile, Belarusian player Aryna Sabalenka, who is ranked second in the world, will be competing against local fan favorite Madison Keys.
Before the US Open women’s semifinals, here is all the information you should know.
How to watch
At 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Gauff and Muchová will start the event in Arthur Ashe Stadium, with Keys and Sabalenka playing after them.
Audiences in the United States have the option to view all of the events on ESPN, while those in the UK can tune in to Sky Sports for match coverage.
Gauff vs. Muchová
For keen observers, this particular matchup may still be fresh in your memory.
Less than three weeks ago, the two competitors faced off in the Western & Southern Open final in Cincinnati. Gauff emerged victorious in straight sets, securing the biggest title of her career.
Gauff’s recent success in Ohio occurred during the peak of her tennis career, and she has carried this momentum into the US Open.
The most recent match for the American at Flushing Meadows was yet another remarkable display, as she easily defeated Jelena Ostapenko for her 10th consecutive win.
Gauff has experienced a bit of a coming-of-age moment in this tournament. She appears to be a strong contender for her first grand slam title, but she is not getting ahead of herself.
“There is still a significant amount of tennis remaining,” Gauff stated. “I am approaching this tournament as if it is just the beginning. In the past, I would have thought about the end, but currently, I am reminding myself that I have two more weeks to compete.”
Currently, I am feeling mentally rejuvenated, which I believe was the issue in previous grand slam competitions. My emotions would become depleted.
Despite her recent rise to a career-high ranking of No. 10 in the world and strong performance, Muchová is still considered the underdog in her match against Gauff.
The Czech player, who was defeated in the final of the French Open earlier this year, has only lost one set on her way to the semifinal. This marks an incredible comeback season for her after being plagued by injuries last year that put her career in jeopardy.
“How would I define mental fortitude?” Muchová inquired. “I have always considered myself resilient in life, which translates well to tennis. However, there are certainly good days and bad days.”
She stated, “I’d rather not reveal all of the strategies involved. Instead, I’ll just concentrate on my own performance. My opponent is very physically fit and persistent. She always chases after every ball and rarely makes errors. She possesses all the necessary skills.”
Keys vs. Sabalenka
In the second semifinal of the day, the crowd will be cheering for an American as Keys goes up against Sabalenka from Belarus.
The 17th seeded player, Keys, is experiencing a comeback at the tournament after being defeated by Sloane Stephens in the final in 2017.
She has defeated three seeded opponents on her path to the semifinals, most recently dominating Wimbledon champion Markéta Vondroušová in the quarterfinals while gaining motivation from the cheering home crowd.
“I believe my mindset has been very positive leading up to the matches. I have been striving to maintain a more emotionally stable state,” stated Keys following her win against Vondroušová at the US Open.
She achieved her 26th win against a top-10 competitor, setting the stage for a high-profile match against Sabalenka. Sabalenka is currently dominating in women’s tennis, having not lost a set on her way to the semifinals.
The Belarusian comfortably defeated Zheng Qinwen in the quarterfinals to make it to her fifth consecutive semifinal in a grand slam tournament. This adds to her impressive streak of victories in major quarterfinals, as she has now won her first seven matches in this stage. This puts her in second place on the all-time list, with only Chris Evert ahead of her. Interestingly, Evert won an incredible 48 consecutive matches in her first grand slam quarterfinal appearances.
The new world No. 1 will be announced on Monday and the 25-year-old will be crowned with the title. Sabalenka, who won her first grand slam title at the Australian Open earlier this year, is expected to win her second title of the year.
She is the first female to make it to the semifinals at all four major tennis tournaments in a single year since Serena Williams in 2016. She credits her past performances for teaching her valuable lessons.
“I experienced some difficult losses this year,” Sabalenka stated. “However, as I always say, we’re not losing, we’re gaining knowledge. I’m using these experiences to grow and become stronger.”