This combination of photos taken on September 7, 2017 show US tennis players Madison Keys (L) and Sloane Stephens (R) playing during their 2017 US Open Women's Singles Semifinals matches, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. First-time Grand Slam finalists Stephens and Keys are the first Americans to meet in a US Open final since Serena Williams defeated older sister Venus Williams in the 2002 final. AFP PHOTO

NEW YORK: Former world number one and 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams made her first public comments since giving birth to a daughter one week ago, tweeting praise Friday to the US Open women’s finalists.

Williams was pregnant when she won the Australian Open in January, moving within one Slam singles crown of Margaret Court’s all-time record, and revealed in April on Twitter she was having a baby and would not play again this year.

The six-time US Open champion was excited for fellow Americans Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys, whose Saturday showdown for the title at Arthur Ashe Stadium will be the first Grand Slam final for each of them.

“There are NO words to describe how proud and how happy I am for @Madison_Keys keys and @SloaneStephens for making the US open finals,” Williams tweeted.

“These amazing women continue to change the game and bring excellence, power, finesse and change to tennis.

“What a joy it will be to watch this- hopefully first of many finals. Let’s go ladies!”

In Thursday’s semi-finals, Stephens ousted Serena’s older sister Venus, a seven-time Grand Slam champion who had been seeking her third US Open crown and first since 2001. --AFP

260 reads