World No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 23 seed Venus Williams won in straight sets on Sunday to book a blockbuster quarterfinal meeting on Tuesday.
Serena served past fellow American and No. 19 seed Madison Keys 6-3, 6-3, while Venus dominated Estonian qualifier Anett Kontaveit 6-2, 6-1.
Venus with the win returned to the quarterfinal round for the first time in five years at the US Open.
“I’ve played some tough matches so far, and I feel like that helped me get a rhythm today,” Williams said. “I played so well in the last match, so I was able to stay comfortable. But I think experience helped a lot, and I was able to play in the moment.”
Serena and Keys played at a high level throughout most of the match, with Keys ending the contest with a double fault. Keys throughout demonstrated her ability as the hardest-hitting player on the WTA tour, but at times struggling to control her backhand strikes.
“It was really important,” said Serena of not falling behind early as in previous matches. “Playing Madison, she’s such a good player and powerful player, so my only chance was to have a fast start. I stayed in there and didn’t feel the pressure. I was just relaxed.”
Unseeded Italian Roberta Vinci moved into the quarters when No. 25 seed Eugenie Bouchard was unable to play their match after sustaining a concussion in a fall in the women’s locker room at the US Open.
“Following the competition yesterday evening, Ms. Bouchard slipped and fell in the locker room and sustained a head injury,” US Open Tournament Director David Brewer said in a statement. “The severity of the injury was and continues to be assessed by the on-site medical personnel at the US Open.”
Vinci in the quarters will meet the winner between Kristina Mladenovic and No. 13 seed Ekaterina Makarova which went well past midnight.
In the late men’s match world No. 1 Novak Djokovic beat No. 23 seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Djokovic will next meet No. 18 seed Feliciano Lopez, who stopped the run of the Nadal-killing No. 32 seed Fabio Fognini 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-1.
Lopez said he was in awe coming into the match of Fognini’s performance against Nadal.
“How many winners [Fognini] was able to hit on that fifth set [against Nadal]. Yeah, I was thinking about him playing this way against me. I was scared,” Lopez said. “But obviously tennis is always different. Every match is completely different. My game is another game. I think I played a great match here today, no? I was very aggressive. My serve was working. Every time I come in, I find a way to win the point.”
Defending champion and No. 9 seed Marin Cilic and No. 19 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga set up a quarterfinal clash when the Croatian beat French No. 27 seed Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-1, and Tsonga beat fellow Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.
Tsonga hasn’t dropped a set, or his serve, through four matches.
“I had a [injury] at the end of last year, the beginning of this year,” Tsonga said. “But I’m coming back at a great level.”
Cilic said he will be ready for a slugfest.
“To play Tsonga is always very challenging,” Cilic said. “Especially in Grand Slams always plays great. I’m going to have to definitely prepare. But maybe psychologically will be easier for me to get into this match rather than for him as in last couple of matches. I won two or three in our meetings, the last ones, so I guess that’s going to be better preparation for me.”
On court Monday in Flushing Meadows is a tennis buffet with (20) Victoria Azarenka vs. Varvara Lepchenko, (5) Stan Wawrinka vs. Donald Young, (22) Samantha Stosur vs. (26) Flavia Pennetta, (5) Petra Kvitova vs. Johanna Konta, (2) Roger Federer vs. (13) John Isner, (2) Simona Halep vs. (24) Sabine Lisicki, (3) Andy Murray vs. (15) Kevin Anderson, and (6) Tomas Berdych vs. (12) Richard Gasquet.
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