CoCo Vandeweghe Knocks Out Top Seed Karolina Pliskova to Reach US Open Semis
(September 6, 2017) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – No. 20 Coco Vandeweghe became the third American woman to reach the US Open semifinals this year. She joins Sloane Stephens and Venus Williams in the final four. She upset No. 1 seed Czech Karolina Pliskova 7-6(4), 6-3 in her first US Open quarterfinal to reach her second major semifinal of the year. She reached the final four of the Australian Open.
After match point, the American dropped to her knees and then went over to her box to high five her team including new coach, former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash. The just started working with each other at Wimbledon.
The American talked abut how they got together: “It was during the French Open. My coach at the time, Craig, he decided to end our relationship. I still had doubles and mixed to play, so I was a little bit in shambles about that.
“Once I was done with the tournament, I went home to California for some much-needed TLC. I had a call from my agent, like, Hey, you kind of need a coach. You just can’t go rogue out here, which I was more on the rogue side of things than I was on let’s have a coach and get this together.
“So they gave me three names, and Pat was one of them. So I said, If he’s interested, let me know, I will call him and vice versa. Talked to him on the phone when I was in California. Talked again when I was at the airport going ahead back to Europe, and then he met me in Holland.”
Pliskova needed to reach the final to keep the top spot. With the loss, Wimbledon winner Garbine Muguruza takes the No. 1 ranking on Monday.
“I think overall now I can say I was not playing my best tennis this tournament,” Pliskova said. “Still made it to quarterfinals, which is pretty good, I think. I think with the tennis, not always you can get that far in the tournament.
“Just happy that I at least did this. Today the match, I think, was very close, about few points. I had set point in first set. Some breaks in the second. Some break chances. I think she played very well. I think she can play much worse than she was playing today.
“I can play much better than I was playing today. I didn’t feel the best, again. But with this game, I think you never gonna feel the best with the game what she’s playing.
“A lot of good serves, a lot of fast shots from the baseline. There is not much sometimes you can do wrong.
“But anyway, I got my chances. I didn’t make it. So that’s it.”
Vandeweghe will play the winner of friend and countrywoman Madison Keys and qualifier Kaia Kanepi. Kanepi is ranked 418th in the world, coming back on the tour after a two-year on and off absence.
On potentially playing Keys who beat her in the final of Stanford: “I think it depends on me, mostly, because similar to today and the other day against Lucie, Madison is a player that can take control of the points and of the rallies.
“I think if I allow her to do that, then she’s going to be on the winning side of the coin. Similar to Pliskova today and Lucie the other day.
“So I think it’s definitely going to depend on me and making sure she’s not capable of doing that. But I think the same goes for Kanepi, as well. I think Kanepi is also a big player. She’s former top 20. I have played her a couple of times and been blown off the court when I was younger, because, you know, she plays that big.”
Should Keys advance, it would be an all-American pair of women’s semifinals.
Asked what it was like to be an American playing at the US Open, she said to media: “Well, like I said on court, Venus last night said it very well that, you know, the younger ones were looking at Lindsay, Jennifer, and Serena and Venus. I think that still holds of, you know, we wanted to be those same players in a later generation or be those. You know, now that we’re older, we can put that into words, but we all wanted to be there.
“For myself, I mean, it’s really nice to have an all-American semi on one side, because for sure there is going to be an American in the final.
“But I think it would be even more exciting for you guys to write about if there are two all-American semis.”
“When I won this event as a junior at 16 and I always dreamed of being here on the big stage,” Vandeweghe said in her on court interview with ESPN. “At 16 I thought it would be overnight, but it is a process.”
Vandeweghe is a former junior US Open champion from 2008.
More to follow…