Serena Williams, who has beaten her sister eight of the last 10 times they’ve played, didn’t have any issue taking down Venus Williams on Friday night at the U.S. Open.
No. 17 Serena dominated No. 16 Venus in the third round match at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City, taking control of nearly the entire match en route to the 6-1, 6-2 win.
“Obviously I played much better today than actually I have since I’ve come back to playing tennis,” Serena said on the court after the match. “Absolutely, this was my best match since I’ve returned. But I’ve worked for it. I’ve worked really, really hard these past three, four month, especially these past eight weeks.
“That’s life. You have to keep working hard no matter ups or downs you have. That’s what I’ve been doing.”
Serena’s early ankle injury
Early in the first set, Serena rolled her right ankle while attempting to return the ball.
She called for the trainer almost immediately, but opted to wait until they switched sides to have it looked at. After taking a 2-1 lead in the first set, the trainer came out and looked at her ankle and quickly taped it up. Play resumed after only about a 10 minute break.
“I actually roll my ankles a lot, so I just was wanting to get it taped as tight as I could for the rest of the match,” Serena said on the court after the match. “I’ll see how I feel tomorrow.”
The injury didn’t faze Serena at all. She dominated the rest of the first set and completely outplayed Venus, taking the opening set 6-1.
Serena kept right on rolling into the second set, too, winning the first two games with ease. Finally, though, after getting close a number of times, Venus won the third game after losing seven straight to get on the board.
After dropping the next two game, sitting on the brink of elimination, Venus rallied back in the seventh game. With the advantage, Venus pulled out an ace with a nasty serve landing right in the corner at 116 mph to keep her match hopes alive.
Serena ended things on the next game, though, winning the match and advancing to the Round of 16 at the U.S. Open for the 17th straight time.
When it was all said and done, the match took just 72 minutes.
“It’s not easy (playing against Venus). She’s my best friend, she means the world to me,” Serena said on the court after the match. “She’s so supportive of my career, and I’m extremely supportive of her career and every time she loses I feel like I do. But it’s a tournament, and we all know that there’s more to life than just playing each other and playing tennis.”
With the win, Serena will advance to the fourth round and will take on Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi, who beat Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson 6-3, 7-6 on Friday.
Friday’s match marked the 30th meeting of the two sisters — and the earliest they have met in a Grand Slam event since the 1998 Australian Open, their first meeting on tour. Serena has a slight advantage in the series, holding an 18-12 lead. Serena won the last time the two met in the U.S. Open in 2015, too, beating Venus in three sets in the quarterfinal round.
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