US Open 2018: Serena Williams survives entertaining clash with Kaia Kanepi

AP Images

AP Images

"It wasn't an easy match at all", said Williams after the match.

A day after celebrating her daughter Alexis Olympia's first birthday, Williams had a little celebration for herself on Sunday, securing a place in the U.S. Open quarter-finals with a topsy-turvy 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 win over Estonia's Kaia Kanepi, to leave her on track for a record equaling 24th career Grand Slam.

This will be Thiem's first quarterfinal at a major other than the French Open and his first match against Nadal on a surface other than red clay.

Any tension inside a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium, however, was quickly eased as a ruthless Williams stormed through the opening set in 18 minutes for the loss of a measly six points.

However, two-time US Open quarterfinalist and former world No. 15 Kanepi found her feet in the second set, as her blistering groundstrokes began to find their mark more often than not. She gained confidence and missed a couple of break points to open the second set, as she managed to change pace and rhythm properly using her classical sliced backhand. Grown-up idolizing Swiss legend Martina Hingis, the first Estonian to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal (2008, at Roland-Garros), to play a WTA final (2006, at Hasselt), to win a WTA title (2010, at Palermo) and to beat a world No.

As for Isner, the American famous for playing in marathon matches (including the two longest matches in major history), played in another five-setter on Sunday.

Williams returned to tournament play in February. "Nobody was expecting me to get that far", Pliskova said after beating No. 18 Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-4.

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"I know she has a big game, but I have a big game too". As noted by Yahoo, the two previously faced off at the U.S. Open, where the Czech player defeated the Compton native 2-6, 6-7 in the 2016 semifinals.

Asked about the improvements she has made since losing in the final of Wimbledon to Angelique Kerber, Williams said: "The thing I've improved most is my fitness. So I didn't face one break point, and I didn't feel so much pressure on service games".

Kaepernick and Reid were among the attendees at Williams'match at the U.S. Open on Friday.

Sevastova toppled seventh-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-3, 1-6, 6-0, leaving just two of the top 10 women's seeds remaining.

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

"Just like I always say: Get your racket on it. Make a play on the ball".

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.

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