Published: Mon, September 03, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Serena Williams squarely meets challenge, advances to quarterfinals

Serena Williams squarely meets challenge, advances to quarterfinals

"She obviously knows how to play", said Williams, a six-time US Open champion who finished with more than twice as many winners as Kanepi, 47-22.

Serena Williams says her motivation to win major trophies remains as high as ever in motherhood after reaching the US Open quarter-finals.

More trophies and children are hopefully in Serena Williams future, said tennis's most famous working mother on Sunday, adding that she appreciated how hard it is to raise both.

"I think every athlete, every human, and definitely every African-American should be completely grateful and honored how Colin and Eric are doing so much more for the greater good", she said.

After failing to serve out the set leading 5-2, Kanepi saved two break points in her next service game and levelled the match by winning a game packed with attractive winners from both players.

There were more cheers when the home favorite then broke for a 2-0 lead and Williams rolled on to victory. She had to survive upset-minded Kanepi, who knocked off No. 1 Simona Halep in the first round and stormed back from being bageled in the first set to seize the second. A seventh win here would break her tie with Chris Evert for the Open Era record, and her 24th slam title would pull her even with Margaret Court's all-time record.

She hasn't won a major since the 2017 Australian Open.

Williams reached the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows for a 10th consecutive appearance - she wasn't there previous year because she gave birth to her daughter during the tournament - by picking her level up after a lull and using 18 aces to beat Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-0, 4-6, 6-3.

"That desire has not gone down at all", she said.

Pliskova had arrived in NY practically unknown except to tennis insiders when she beat Williams in the semifinals at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in 2016.

"And I don't think it was capable of going up, because if it was at a 10, I was at a 15 or a 20 - and I'm still there".

Williams, whose recovery from giving birth was complicated by life-threatening blood clots, has been open about her emotional struggles as a new mother and the difficulty of balancing her commitment to caring for her daughter and her career. I haven't been single for a long time.

Defending champion Sloane Stephens became the fourth woman through to the quarters with a 6-3, 6-3 rout of No. 15 seed Elise Mertens. In an interview with Time Magazine this month, Serena spoke out in support of Kaepernick who hasn't played in the NFL since end of the 2016 season, the same year he began kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racial inequality.

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