Sloane Stephens maintained her perfect record against fellow American Madison Keys as she blazed into the French Open final with a 6-4 6-4 win on Thursday in a repeat of last year’s U.S. Open final.
In the first all-American Roland Garros semi-final since 2002, the 10th-seeded Stephens stayed composed throughout as Keys, who has not won a set against her in three meetings, peppered the court with unforced errors.
Stephens, who had never gone past the fourth round in Paris, will take on twice French Open runner-up and world number one Simona Halep of Romania in Saturday’s final.
Regardless of the result, the 25-year-old Stephens will become the first American to break into the top five in the WTA rankings since Lindsay Davenport – Keys’s coach – in 2006.
“It’s always hard to play someone from your country and such a good friend, but I’m happy I played my tennis,” Stephens said.
“This is one of my favourite tournaments and I’m looking forward to Saturday. Merci Paris, je t’aime.”