Serena Williams Reaches US Open Quarter-Finals

"She was doing so well. She was being so aggressive and I knew I needed to do the same thing."

Six-time champion Serena Williams battled through a challenging three-set test against Greek 15th seed Maria Sakkari to reach the US Open quarter-finals.

Serena Williams, 38, looked composed as she took the first set in 37 minutes.

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The third seed lost a close tie-break in the second and was forced to find her best tennis to come from a break down in the third and win 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 almost two hours later.

“I just kept fighting,” Williams said.

“She was doing so well. She was being so aggressive and I knew I needed to do the same thing.”

Serena Williams’ next opponent is Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova, who has never reached the US Open quarter-finals before and is playing her first tournament since Wimbledon 2017.

Pironkova beat French world number 56 Alize Cornet 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-3.

The American is seeking a 24th Grand Slam singles title as she attempts to equal Margaret Court’s record.

Williams had initially looked vulnerable when she went a set down in her third-round match against Sloane Stephens and again it was Maria Sakkari who had the faster start.

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The pair had met two weeks previously in the last 16 of the Western and Southern Open, when Williams let a set and break lead slip to lose.

The seven-time Wimbledon champion was threatened when Maria Sakkari set up three break points at 2-2 in the first set, but the Greek could not take the early opportunity.

The momentum changed hands as Williams dominated a rally with pacy forehands to break the world number 22’s serve at the third attempt.

And an ace down the middle sealed a hold to love to give the American the first set.

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