Sloane Stephens might be out of the U.S. Open, but that doesn’t mean she can’t wish one of her friends still in the Grand Slam well.
The 2017 tournament champion, who was bounced in the first round, posted a video before No. 17 Madison Keys’ Wednesday night quarterfinal matchup against Marketa Vondrousova, saying that she would be passing along a good luck note to the American.
“Ok, since I’m here I’m going to leave a little love note in Madi’s locker,” Stephens said in the video posted to X, formerly Twitter.
“Hopefully she gets it after the match.”
Stephens posted another video of her physically putting the piece of paper in the locker.
And after Keys cruised to a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Vondrousova — unbothered by an eight-minute medical delay for a fan in the stands — to roll into the semifinals, she revealed in a post on X — with two heart emoji — what the note actually said.
It was, unsurprisingly, pretty heartfelt.
“Madi, Let’s do this baby!” the note read. “Keep fighting! Always proud of you — Sloane.”
Keys told reporters after the match that the note “just said she’s basically rooting for me, proud of me, and just to keep going,” according to Tennis.com.
It’s not a surprise to see the two share a tender moment during the tournament, as their friendship goes back a number of years.
During the 2017 U.S. Open, Stephens came away with a Grand Slam win over Keys, and the two hugged and cried at the net after the match.
Stephens even invited Keys for a celebration out in New York City after the victory.
“She can buy me drinks, all the drinks,” Keys said then. “I’m really sad for me but really happy for her.
“Sloane is truly one of my favorite people,” Keys said. “I didn’t play my best tennis, and she was very supportive after. If I had to lose to somebody today, I’m glad it’s her.”
Keys will next face will face No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinals on Thursday night as she looks to win her first-ever Grand Slam.
Maybe the note will be that extra piece to get her over the hump.
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