Serena and Venus Williams resumed their storied rivalry Tuesday night in the US Open quarterfinals with the younger sisters, Serena, keeping the upper hand with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.
The win raises Serena’s advantage over Venus to 16-11 overall and 9-5 in Grand Slam play.
“It was great to see her do so well tonight,” Serena said. “She was at an unbelievable level today. Down to the match point, it was just not easy. It’s probably the toughest match I’ve played in a really, really, really long time where I wasn’t actually beating myself. I was out there facing an incredibly tough opponent.
“Seeing she has that level is so inspiring. Against any other player she for sure would have won.”
Venus, who was out of the sport after revealing a diagnosis of Sjogren’s Syndrome four years ago, was playing in her second Slam quarterfinal of the season.
“Yeah, the first set was close,” Venus said. “Lost serve a couple times, but I was still leading in both of those games. Knew I had opportunities and just tried to capitalize on them.
“You know, when you get in the tournament, you want to win the match, you want to win the tournament, so that’s both of our focus when we get out there, is to try to be our best.”
Serena has won her last 33 matches in Grand Slams and 25 straight at the US Open which she has won six times and the last three years. She moves on to face Italian Roberta Vinci who beat Kristina Mladenovic in three sets to reach her first career Slam semifinal at the age of 32.
“I played her in Canada. She played me really tough, and I didn’t really expect that,” said Serena who leads Vinci 4-0 including a 6-4, 6-3 win in Toronto. “That’s how I sprained my finger actually, was playing against her. Thankfully my finger is a little better now. But, yeah, so I’m not going to underestimate her. She played really well. She’s not in the semifinals of a Grand Slam for no reason. She knows what to do and she knows what to play.”
Vinci becomes the fourth difference Italian woman to make a Slam semifinal in the Open Era after Sara Errani, Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone.
“I’m so happy,” Vinci said. “I would like to enjoy my semifinal on Thursday. I did not expect one semifinal at the US Open, so I’m really happy. Now I enjoy my day. Tomorrow rest and play my game on Thursday. I have nothing to lose. We will see.”
Serena remains in the hunt for a historic calendar year Grand Slam. She’s now just two wins and four sets away.
“Probably the most gratifying is I’m still very excited to see Serena have an opportunity to win the four majors,” Venus said of the night. “I think that’s the best part.”
Tomorrow, World No. 2 Simona Halep clashes with two-time US Open finalist Victoria Azarenka. And Petra Kvitova bids for her first US Open semifinal against Italian 33-year-old Flavia Pennetta.
“Flavia is a good girl, so I’m looking forward for the match,” Kvitova said Monday. “It’s a long time we played each other, I think. I think she’s on fire. She’s playing well here. She beat Sam in two sets. So I think she really has to feel well. It’s quarterfinals, so I don’t really think that someone easy to beat there. I’m looking forward. It’s my first time in quarters. I will enjoy that for sure.”
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