Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens had it tough but made it to the 2017 US Open semi-finals on Tuesday.
The two-time US Open champion Williams made it to her 23rd semi-final at a Grand Slam tournament after she needed three sets and a final set tie-breaker to break the will of Petra Kvitova.
Kvitova, who had entered the tournament, a few months after having been stabbed at home, defeated Garbine Muguruza in her previous round to make the quarter-final to set up this meeting with Williams. And when she levelled the match at one set apiece, it looked like a thriller was on the cards.
A thriller is what the Arthur Ashe fans got with home favourite Williams edging out her Czech opponent, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2) to make the semi-finals.
Williams said of her win:
“I was so fortunate to win that match. It came down to the wire and I’m hoping we have more matches like that.”
She will now take on fellow American Stephens who had quite a similar script – and the same scoreline – as the Venus Williams encounter.
Stephens shrugged off her fitness woes and defeated Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova in three sets, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4) to set up the Williams meeting.
The 2013 Australian semi-finalist Stephens, has fallen to 83rd in the world due to her injuries but that hasn’t bothered her too much in the competition. She has already overcome Roberta Vinci, Dominika Cibulkova and Julia Goerges before beating Sevastova – who had earlier stunned Maria Sharapova – to enter the semi-finals.
Stephens and Williams have played each other twice before this, of which Venus gave her a walkover in Miami 2013 and Stephens was a straight-set winner in the other match at the French Open in 2015.
In the men’s singles quarter-final, Kevin Anderson overcame Sam Querrey’s challenge in four sets and will now take on Pablo Carreno Busta in the US Open semi-final.
Busta barely broke into a sweat before sending Diego Schwartzman out in straight sets, losing just 10 games in the process.