Americans Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens set up an all-American semifinal on Tuesday at the US Open after dramatic victories in New York.
Williams moved into her third Grand Slam semifinal of the year after defeating Petra Kvitova 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(2) in a battle of Grand Slam champs.
“This match meant a lot to me, obviously, playing at home and of course it being a major,” Venus said. “It means a lot to her, too, coming back and being able to compete in this major and to prove obviously to herself that she could defeat anything no matter what’s thrown at her. It was amazing to see her shine today.”
Williams ran out to an early lead in the third-set tiebreak and never looked back as Kvitova’s nerve crumbled in a flurry of unforced errors.
“It was pretty close, pretty intense,” Kvitova said. “I think, the last couple of games in the third set — it was just about a few points. We played 2-1/2 hours, and I had my chances, kind of. I had a break in the third, but it wasn’t about the breaks today.”
Williams is into her first US Open semifinal since 2010.
In the semifinals she will meet her countrywoman Stephens, who also came back from a break down in the third and won in a third-set tiebreak, defeating No. 16 seed Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(4).
“It was incredible,” Stephens said after the match. “I couldn’t hear anything. It was so loud in there. But I think that’s what tennis players play for. Obviously as an American, playing at your home slam, to have the crowd like that behind you, is incredible. I don’t think there is any better feeling or better moment you’ll get out of playing tennis.”
Like the Venus-Kvitova match, Stephens ran out to a lead in the tiebreak as Sevastova’s game dissolved in unforced errors as the Latvian ranted and case steely glances at her players’ box.
“I think at 5-4 or 6-5 when I was serving, I was in control,” Sevastova said. “There was not many nerves. But maybe before, in the beginning, I was a bit nervous, and also in the tiebreak, as well. But it’s normal. I mean, it’s the third set, you’re playing for semifinals of US Open. I’m not a robot. Sorry.”
Stephens beat Venus in their only career meeting at the 2015 French Open.
Wednesday’s women’s quarterfinals could set up an all-American semifinals as (1) Karolina Pliskova squares off against (20) CoCo Vandeweghe, and (15) Madison Keys meets Kaia Kanepi.
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