Tuesday, September 8, 2015 12:23 pm
For the 27th time, the Williams Sisters, Venus and Serena are set for another tennis Sisters Act, with the internet world abuzz about the match and what would likely be the outcome at Flushing Meadows, New York.
The tie, would be the sisters eighth in Grand Slams and it may their last in a major tournament.
And the question is, Can Venus, now playing a better tennis than in recent years, stop Serena’s dream of achieving the fourth women’s calendar-year Grand Slam? The answer will be known this evening. The Sisters are playing 7pm New York time.
But never place a bet. Anything can happen. Though Serena has beaten her sister more times, #VenusWilliams is capable of springing surprises. Belinda Bencic, a teenager who shocked Serena three weeks ago in Toronto, was ousted in the third round in New York by Venus.
“It’s never easy,” said Isha Price, Venus’ and Serena’s sister. “I think they’re both happy to be in the place that they are. It’s toughest on my parents. It’s tough for us to watch, because you want the best for both of them.”
The best would be more history for Serena, who has a 52-2 record in 2015, including the Australian and French Open titles, another Wimbledon win, an uninterrupted stay at No. 1 and no fully realized rival. .
#SerenaWilliams had booked the quarter final duel with her sister after routing fellow American Madison Keys on Sunday.
Williams beat the 20-year-old Keys 6-3 6-3 in 68 minutes to book a 27th professional career showdown with her older sister, who advanced with a 6-2 6-1, 50-minute fourth-round victory over qualifier Anett Kontaveit, 19, of Estonia.
Three-time defending champion Serena holds a 15-11 advantage in the sisterly head-to-head series against Venus, splitting their four previous clashes at the U.S. Open.
“She’s playing great,” 33-year-old Serena said about seven-times grand slam winner Venus, who is two years her elder. “I have to really be ready for that.
“At least one of us, a Williams, will be in the semis.”
Top-seeded world number one Serena has won six of the last seven matches against Venus, who beat her younger sister last year in the semi-finals in Montreal.
Venus was quick to identify her biggest challenge in facing Serena in Tuesday’s quarter-final.
“Well, obviously, that she’s so good. What else can you do except try to win the point and hope she doesn’t hit an ace,” Venus said.
Serena said it was always tough facing her sister.
“I’m playing, for me, the best player in the tournament, and that’s never easy,” she said. “She’s beaten me so many times … more than anybody. She’s a player that knows how to win, knows how to beat me, and knows my weaknesses better than anyone.
“So it’s not an easy match at all. Hopefully things will go right.”
Venus, whose last slam triumph came at the 2008 Wimbledon, said she thought she was playing well enough to win her third U.S. Open title. “Of course. I’d love to,” she said. “But it’s easier said than done.”
Serena, winner of 21 grand slam singles titles including the 2015 Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon championships, currently holds all four grand slam titles, a “Serena Slam” she has now twice accomplished.
Winning this time at Flushing Meadows for her seventh U.S. Open crown would give her the rare calendar-year Grand Slam that would match Maureen Connolly (1953), Margaret Court (1970) and Steffi Graf (1988).
Should Venus go one better, should she beat Serena in the U.S. Open during little sister’s quest for the Grand Slam, would a loss to her make it any easier for Serena to swallow?
Sort of, Serena said.
“I would rather lose to Venus as opposed to anyone else,” Serena confirmed. But then she added, “I, in general, don’t like to lose.”
*With reports by Reuters and USA Today