Published: Thu, September 07, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Williams, Kvitova to lock horns in US Open quarters

Williams, Kvitova to lock horns in US Open quarters

Williams, then, will play her first US Open semi-final since 2010 against fellow American Stephens come Thursday.

Standing in Williams' way to the final is Stephens, who saw off Latvia's Anistasija Sevastova 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-4) on Arthur Ashe Stadium to reach her first grand slam semifinal for four years.

Venus Williams has been a role model for years.

"After this great run here, I hope it will be a little bit easier for me to breathe and play well, and no expectation again", said Kvitova.

After final defeats at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, the 37-year-old finds herself within two victories of a first grand slam title on home soil since 2001. Kvitova was able to fend off the attacker but suffered serious injuries to her left hand. Like she would hit these awesome shots out of nowhere, and all I could do was say, "well done".

"Every moment I'm living right now is something special", Kvitova said. "[I'm] just happy to be playing really well and happy that my foot is good and I don't have any pain and my body is holding up". I didn't want to hope. "But not just now". "Before, I was playing well, I had won a couple tournaments and was playing well". Kvitova did not waver, serving to love, and yet again, their contest would be decided by a tie-breaker. Last December, an intruder attacked and robbed her in her own apartment in the Czech Republic. In her run to the quarter-finals, she took down pre-tournament favourite, Garbine Muguruza, in an impressive two-set display on Sunday, and showed the dominant play that made her unbeatable at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014. Instead, she said, it's a result of being better than ever. "Hopefully one day will be better". "But I was at Tennis Channel, and I was around some great people, like Paul [Annacone] and Lindsay [Davenport]". Nearly at Wimbledon, where she lost the final in straight sets to Murguruza.

The Czech drew first blood in the decider, breaking serve in the third game by winning the last two points with thumping backhands.

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While Serena Williams gave birth to her daughter on Friday, Venus continues to turn back the clock and play premier tennis at 37 years of age. "Her motivation was huge".

"Being on Fed Cup teams with her, like, there is not anything bad you can say about Venus". She's a champion. It's what we all know. En route to the last eight, she made no mistakes despite facing some risky opponents like Jelena Jankovic, Alize Cornet, Caroline Garcia or Garbine Muguruza.

"It was pretty close, pretty intense", Kvitova said.

"It wasn't enough, right?"

"I think still my hand is not 100 per cent ready, so I do feel I have space to improve", Kvitova said. "Of course, as a loser, it's more tiring than as a victor". Her absence from the tour was felt by everyone involved in tennis and it is fantastic to witness her return to some signs of the same level of tennis that she has always been capable of on a hard-court.

With her ranking set to move up to around 12th, she is on course to qualify for the WTA Elite Trophy, a secondary end-of-season event that Kvitova would not normally expect to be involved in.

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