PARIS—Sloane Stephens will face Madison Keys in the semis in the French Open on Thursday. The two Americans are good friends, and the 25-year-old Stephens says that the 23-year-old Keys has grown up a lot.
“I can't really comment on her being her own boss, but—I have seen her grow as a person. I think she's an amazing person,” Stephens said. “Sure, she's her own boss.”
At the 2017 US Open, Stephens and Keys both reached the final. Stephens crushed Keys, winning her first Grand Slam, and she still points to that tournament as a big step for them.
WATCH—Match point from Stephens' win over Daria Kasatkina in the quarterfinals:
“I think for both of us, that was the biggest moment of both of our careers, playing in the finals of the US Open. I think a lot has happened since then,” Stephens said. “We are both playing well, in the semis of a Grand Slam. Obviously it's just another opportunity. It's great for American tennis. To have two Americans in the semifinals of the French Open, is pretty incredible. That means one American will be in the final of a French Open, which is another amazing thing. All in all, I don't think anyone can complain.”
Stephens, who has used a number of coaches during her career, says that her current coach, Kamau Murray, has really helped her. He has worked with her for more than two and a half years.
“We have great chemistry. We get along well,” Stephens said. “It's hard to be away from home and travel a lot of weeks out of the year, and to do it with somebody you really don't like is really not fun. I think to have a good relationship with your coach and you can actually stand to be around them more than 20 minutes at a time, I think that's a pretty good thing. We have had a lot of ups and downs, but I think when it's good, it's good. When it's bad, we've got to work through it. But where we are now is pretty good. Overall, we are pretty consistent. He knows when I need time and space. And he knows when he needs to be on top of me and make sure that I'm doing what I need to get done. I think that's a good balance.”
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