Serena Williams reached the quarter finals of the US Open by beating 25-year-old Maria Sakkari in three sets. The six-time winner of the US Open had her hands full with the Greek, but was finally able to receive the congratulations: 6-3, 6-7, 6-3.
In the first set Williams immediately showed what she had come for, a place in the quarter finals. After she first had three more breakpoints on her own service, she managed to break her opponent’s serve in the game afterwards. Then she relatively easily pulled the first set to herself.
Two weeks ago, the two tennis players had hit each other for the first time and then Williams had to acknowledge her superior in three sets in the Sakkari. Again, the Greek showed not to be impressed by her illustrious American opponent.
In the second set Sakkari put more pressure on Williams at a high pace and that paid off. After leaving five setpoints unused, she struck at the sixth opportunity in the tiebreak and pulled the game back into balance.
With a third set the match became a physical battle, in which the thirteen year younger Sakkari seemed to have the better papers. But with her experience and especially her class, Williams took the game to her own devices. With that Williams stayed on course for a 24th Grand Prix title, with which she would equal record holder Margareth Court-Smith. Court-Smith booked her successes in the 60’s and 70’s.
Williams takes on the Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova in the quarterfinals. The 32-year-old Pironkova makes her comeback after three years and also eliminated Garbiñe Muguruza and Donna Vekic. Also today she was too powerful for her opponent, the Frenchwoman Alizé Cornet.
Tonight Sofia Kenin, who is the second seeded Sofia Kenin, will also play, competing with the Belgian Elise Mertens for a spot in the quarter finals of the US Open.