Venus Williams celebrates her tremendous play (Photo courtesy of Twitter @usopen)

4 Black women creating magic at the 2017 US Open

Naomi Osaka celebrates on court (Photo courtesy of Twitter @usopen)

Naomi Osaka celebrates on court (Photo courtesy of Twitter – @usopen)

With Serena Williams giving birth to a daughter on Friday, the greatest female tennis player of all time is not intimidating the field of 128 at the 2017 U.S. Open. But there are still some women of color that are a force to be reckoned with looking to continue their winning ways in the tournament and possibly take home the championship. Here is a closer look at four of them.

Venus Williams. At the age of 37, the older sister of Serena continues to make noise in 2017. Fresh off a Wimbledon Finals loss, Venus is trying to make another deep tournament run and prove that age ain’t nothing but a number. Williams defeated Maria Sakkari to advance to the fourth round Sunday, where she will meet Carla Suárez Navarro.

Madison Keys. Ranked No. 16 in the Women’s Tennis Association rankings, the 22-year old Keys has already had her most successful Grand Slam tournament of 2017.  She is seeking her first-ever breakthrough to a Grand Slam final and the U.S. Open may provide that opportunity next week. Keys takes on Russian Elena Vesnina this evening with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line. 

Sloane Stephens. Like Madison Keys, the 24-year old Stephens has yet to break through to a Grand Slam final. Injuries caused her to miss three-straight Grand Slams, including the first two of 2017, but Sloane is healthy again and looking to fulfill her dream of holding up a Grand Slam trophy. Stephens will play against Julia Goerges Sunday.

Naomi Osaka. Representing Japan, the daughter of a Haitian father and a Japanese mother had the biggest win of the tournament thus far, knocking off the defending champion Angelique Kerber. At 19 years old, she is the youngest person on the list but also shows the most potential. A win today over Kaia Kanepi would put her in the round of 16 for the first time in her career. We should get used to Osaka going deep into tournaments.

Serena may be home as a first-time mother, but with Venus, Madison, Sloane and Naomi, there are still four black women competing in the 2017 US Open looking to make a name for themselves while Serena is away.

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  • donna
    September 3, 2017

    I would love to see the word “magic” disassociated from Black women. We have no magic. We have no choice. That is a shame, not magic.

    “That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when
    I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?”

  • Jennifer Sillem
    October 31, 2017

    Madison has said she identifies as Biracial, not Black.

    I understand that African-Americans fear losing their representation in tennis and are hoping biracial players will represent them, but you cannot force biracial people to identify as Black, especially after they have told the world they do not they do not identify as Black.

  • Gigi
    November 1, 2017

    Naomi identifies as mixed race and identifies with both her Haitian and Japanese side.

    Remember, she represents Japan in tennis. It would be weird for her to say she only identifies with her Black side while representing the Japanese.

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