Venus Williams was rewarded with her first US Open semifinal appearance since 2010 after she edged Petra Kvitova in the quarter finals on Tuesday.
The seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams has become the oldest semi-finalist in US Open history at the age of 37 by defeating two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(2).
Going by the pair’s previous five meetings prior to this, Kvitova looked likeliest to win. Having won four of their previous five meetings.
It was also expected for the match to go the distance. But after two hours, 35 minutes, the No. 9-seeded Williams came out tops, as Kvitova sent a backhand wide to end an absolute classic that may have been the match of the competiton thus far.
“I’m so fortunate to have won that match. It came down to the wire,” Williams said. “I try to tell myself enjoy the competition, enjoy the battle and I think I was able to do that.”
Ninth seed Williams, seeking her third US Open crown, will now face 83rd-ranked compatriot Sloane Stephens on Thursday for a spot in Saturday’s final.
Sloane Stephens overcame a tenacious Anastasija Sevastova at the US Open to reach the second grand slam semi-final of her career.
World No. 83 Stephens, whose only previous appearance in the last four of a major came at the 2013 Australian Open, survived a fightback by the Latvian to triumph 6-3 3-6 7-6(4) in front of a passionate home crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Sloane Stephens had this to say after the match on Tuesday – “When I couldn’t play, I literally couldn’t even go on the court, stand, and hit a ball. I think that now that I’m, like, running around and, like, sweating, my ponytail is flying, these are all such great things. I think I’m just happy to be running around and competing again.”
Thursday’s semifinal will be Williams’ 23rd at a major, which puts her in sole possession of fifth place in the category since the WTA was formed in 1973.
Williams will also re-enter the Top 5 in the rankings for the first time since January of 2011 by virtue of advancing to the semi-finals in New York for the first time in seven years. The American can reach as high as No. 2 in the world if she goes onto win her third US Open title, and first since 2001.