Serena beats sister to move to semifinals of US Open

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Serena Williams outlasted older sister Venus Tuesday night before a sell-out crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium. 

The quarterfinal match drew all of the attention deserved of what was, for at least a decade, sports’ greatest rivalry. But the first set Tuesday night looked much like most of their recent meetings, a reminder that Venus can no longer challenge Serena in the same way. Venus took a quick second set, but in less than two hours, Serena advanced to the semifinals with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 win. 

Crowd loyalty was mixed throughout the match. The loudest cheers erupted when Oprah Winfrey and comedian Aziz Ansari appeared on the big screen. When Donald Trump’s face flashed across, the entire stadium finally seemed to be in unison, booing even louder than they’d cheered.

Serena earned her first break-point opportunity in the first game of the match, but failed to convert. She’d finally do so in the fifth game to take the 3-2 advantage, and again in the seventh, to lead 5-2. A quick hold, and she’d taken the first set.  

Neither looked particularly quick, each playing more defense than anything else. It was as though all of the attention paid this match had worn them out before they even took the court. 

When Venus earned a break-point opportunity at 2-1 in the second set, the crowd roared its approval. During play, it was silent enough to hear the subway cars braking on the 7-track just outside the grounds. Venus earned the break, her first of the night. Then she earned another. And another. After playing so solidly in the first, Serena fell apart in the second. A nod to her older sister? A refusal to embarrass Venus in straight sets? The questions murmured throughout the arena.

And in the third, first-set Serena returned. A massive ace saved break-point at 2-0. It was soon 5-2. There were few spectacular points or memorable moments in this match. It was a routine Serena win, watched by more celebrities that Ashe has hosted in the past week combined. 

"It’s a really great moment. She’s the toughest person I’ve ever played in my life and the best person I know," Serena said in her on-court interview after the win. "It was really difficult today." 

 

Posted on September, 9 2015

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