The much-anticipated Serena vs. Venus Williams’ battle turned out to be a clunker on Friday night as Serena pounded her older sister 6-1, 6-2 to move into the fourth round at the US Open.
“This was my best match since I returned,” Serena said. “I worked for it. I worked really hard these last three or four months.”
Venus won only four of 33 points off Serena’s dominating first serve.
“I think it’s the best match she ever played against me,” Venus said. “I don’t think I did a lot wrong. But she just did everything right. Obviously that level is definitely where she’s going to want to stay during this whole tournament.”
Serena will be wary of her next opponent, Kaia Kanepi, who in the first round sent world No. 1 Simona Halep on a plane back to Romania. Kanepi advanced by defeating Rebecca Peterson of Sweden 6-3, 7-6(3).
“I wasn’t nervous when I played Simona because she’s No. 1, so why should I be nervous to play her? I felt nervous in the second round, with expectations, ‘I won against the No. 1, so now I should win against everyone else,’” Kanepi said. “Today, I didn’t feel that. Today I was calm before the match.”
Top 10-seeded players easing through in straight sets Friday were No. 3 Sloane Stephens topping former No. 1 and wildcard Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 6-4, No. 7 Elina Svitolina moving past Chna’s Qiang Wang 6-4, 6-4, and No. 8 Karolina Pliskova holding off American teen Sofia Kenin 6-4, 7-6(2).
Kenin created opportunities but converted on only two of 13 break points against Pliskova.
Next for Pliskova will be No. 18 seed Ashleigh Barty, who she lost her last hardcourt meeting against. The Aussie beat Czech qualifier Karolina Muchova 6-3, 6-4.
The defending champion Stephens will next face No. 15 Elise Mertens, who dispatched of No. 23 Barbora Strycova 6-3, 7-6(4), and Svitolina will meet No. 19 Anastajisa Sevastova, a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 winner over Ekaterina Makarova.
Saturday highlights in Flushing Meadows are (10) Jelena Ostapenko vs. (22) Maria Sharapova, (4) Angie Kerber vs. Dominika Cibulkova, (5) Petra Kvitova vs. (26) Aryna Sabalenka, and (6) Caroline Garcia vs. (30) Carla Suarez Navarro.
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