All-American affair for US Open women's singles
Young trio and Venus write remarkable individual stories in pursuit of a Major prize
It has been 32 years since the last all-American women's semi-finals at a Grand Slam, and what better place for this to happen than at the US Open.
Madison Keys, 22, Coco Vandeweghe, 25, and Sloane Stephens, 24, are stepping under the bright lights of the Arthur Ashe Stadium as they give it their all in front of their home crowd in the semi-finals of the US Open this morning (Singapore time).
The spotlight is now on them to continue the legacy of the great American players who have preceded them, including one who is the biggest name left among the quartet, as they look to win their first Grand Slam title.
Venus Williams' run to yet another Grand Slam semi-final has been incredible.
Notching her 20th win in the thrilling match against Petra Kvitova on Tuesday night, Williams is on familiar territory as she holds the record this year for the most number of wins at the Slams.
She is also the only player to have reached two Major finals this year - first at the Australian Open against her sister, Serena, and at Wimbledon, against the newly crowned WTA world No. 1 Garbine Muguruza.
It is an incredible time for American women's tennis.
This is the first time since 1981 when Tracy Austin, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Barbara Potter reached the last four, that the women's semi-finals at the US Open will feature all-American contests.
To be represented at the semi-finals at their home Grand Slam by four outstanding players with different experiences and backgrounds, is testament to the strong sporting nation that is the United States.
From world-class tennis academies to a structured inter-collegiate system, the US has a great infrastructure that can support the development pipeline.
It is often said that we stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us.
The WTA Legends also play an important role in inspiring the next generation to pursue a career in professional tennis.
Evert, Navratilova, Zina Garrison and Kathy Rinaldi were the last four American women to have made it to a Grand Slam semi-final round together in 1985 at Wimbledon - and the success that they had achieved during their playing careers has served as motivation for the younger players to work hard to compete at the same level.
As Keys would know firsthand, her current coach, WTA Finals Legend Ambassador and three-time Grand Slam champion Lindsay Davenport, is still very active in the sport even after retiring in 2010.
In 2005, Davenport played in the longest women's final in Wimbledon history against one of the most recognisable names in tennis, Venus, who won the title in three riveting sets.
Twelve years on, as Davenport dispenses advice to Keys who qualified for the WTA Finals for the first time last year, Venus is still going strong on court.
At 37 years and three months, Venus is the oldest player to advance to the semi-finals of the US Open, and she continues to be a role model and inspiration to her peers on Tour as well as the generations after her.
Keys, Vandeweghe and Stephens would have grown up watching Williams play, aspiring to be just like her - or sister Serena, of course - one day, so to be able to be play alongside her must feel like an accomplishment in itself.
It has been an amazing year so far for Venus as she looks to rejoin the WTA top five after the US Open, 19 years after she made her top-five debut in 1998.
She will be relishing the prospect of taking on the new guard in pursuit of her eighth Grand Slam title and making her way up the Porsche Race to Singapore Leaderboard,
I look forward to welcoming her here to make her debut on centre court at the 2017 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global next month.
- Melissa Pine is the vice-president of WTA Asia-Pacific and the tournament director of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. She is also a former NCAA player at Washington State University and served as assistant coach of the team post-graduation. To find out more about the WTA Finals, visit www.wtafinals.com