September 3, 2008

Serena slams Venus; advances to Semis

WOW! Serena Williams fought like a bulldog and stayed mentally tough throughout her US Open quarterfinal showdown with sister Venus. In a U.S. Open quarterfinal that was fit for a final, Serena came back in each set to win 7-6 (6), 7-6 (7) Wednesday night and break a tie in their head-to-head series. Serena trailed 5-3 in both sets. She faced set points in both, including eight in the second. But she advanced to the semifinals at Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2002, the year she beat Venus in the title match for her second U.S. Open championship.

It was the siblings’ 17th meeting as professionals, and Serena leads 9-8. That includes 11 matches at Grand Slam tournaments, where Serena leads 6-5. She also has the edge in major championships, 8-7, and only she can add to that total this weekend. Venus had all sorts of chances to take control, but in the end, as both women's play reached a very high level, it was Serena who pulled through. In the second tiebreak, Venus had four set points -- and Serena saved them all. Then, when Serena earned her first match point, nearly 2½ hours into the match, she converted it, when Venus ended an 11-stroke exchange by missing a forehand. Serena will now meet No. 6 Dinara Safina in the semifinals.

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