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What Had Happened Was: 9/8/17

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Game. Blouses.

  • Sloane Stephens was on a mission to reach her first career Grand Slam final, while across the court, Venus Williams was hoping to reach her third major final of 2017. In the end, after a dominant set apiece by both women, Stephens, 24, proved to be too much for the 37-year-old in the semifinals of the US Open. In a back-and-forth affair, Stephens defeated the seven-time Grand Slam champion, 6-1, 0-6, 7-5. Later Thursday evening, fellow American Madison Keys beat CoCo Vandeweghe in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, to set up the first all-American US Open final since 2002, when Serena Williams defeated Venus Williams.
  • Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and social activist Colin Kaepernick donated a total of $100,000 to DREAM, Coalition for the Homeless, War on Children and United We Dream. That brings Kaepernick’s total donation amount to $900,000 of the $1 million he pledged last October.
  • NBA commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts told players that “none of us operates in a vacuum” and encouraged them to be aware of what’s taking place around them socially. The letter, which ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski obtained, was co-signed by the pair. The letter went on to say that “critical issues that affect our society also impact you directly. Fortunately, you are not only the world’s greatest basketball players — you have real power to make a difference in the world, and we want you to know that the Players Association and the League are always available to help you figure out the most meaningful way to make that difference.”

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On this day in sports history

On Sept. 8, 1968, 25-year-old American tennis player Arthur Ashe defeated the Netherlands’ Tom Okker in five sets (14–12, 5–7, 6–3, 3–6, 6–3) to not only win the first US Open men’s title in the Open era but also become the first African-American in history to win the US Open, period. Ashe would go on to win two more Grand Slam titles, the Australian Open (1970) and Wimbledon (1975), before retiring in April 1980.


Rhiannon Walker is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a drinker of Sassy Cow Creamery chocolate milk, an owner of an extensive Disney VHS collection, and she might have a heart attack if Frank Ocean doesn't drop his second album.