Published: Thu, September 06, 2018
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Serena Williams survives scare from Kanepi to reach US Open quarters

Serena Williams survives scare from Kanepi to reach US Open quarters

Serena Williams survived a severe test of her credentials against the hard-hitting Kaia Kanepi on Sunday as she advanced to the quarter-finals of the US Open with a 6-0 4-6 6-3 win.

Next up for Williams is a quarter-final meeting with eighth seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova who advanced with a straight-forward 6-4 6-4 win over 18th seed Ashleigh Barty of Australia.

Williams, chasing a record-equaling 24th grand slam, is playing her seventh tournament - and a third grand slam - since giving birth to daughter Olympia last September.

Thiem reached his first quarterfinal at any Grand Slam besides the French Open. He was agonizingly close to getting there previous year at the U.S. Open, leading by two sets against Juan Martin del Potro in the round of 16 before the 2009 champion roared back to win.

She is the last player to beat Williams in NY, having got the better of the six-times champion in the semi-final two years ago. But she just did everything right.

Always an imposing physical presence, Serena conceded that she had expected to be back at her best sooner but learned quickly that her life has changed forever and along with that, the way she must approach the sport.

After winning the opening set against Kaia Kanepi in just 18 minutes and for the loss of six points, Williams found herself taken to a deciding set for the first time this tournament.

Nadal almost made it a sweep - something he was probably pushing hard for after playing a four-set match that lasted almost 4 1/2 hours two days earlier - but could not close out Basilashvili when he was two points from winning the third-set tiebreaker. "I, unfortunately, roll my ankle all the time so I'm used to it". She obviously knows how to play. I think what I have improved most is my fitness.

Defending champion Sloane Stephens returned to the U.S. Open quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over No. 15 seed Elise Mertens of Belgium.

She said: "I really was feeling great that year".

Serena Williams felt she played her best match since her return to tennis while routing her sister in the last round.

"She came out strong and she came out very well", said the 23-time major victor.

"And I was just living in this world where I thought it would just automatically come together".

And after getting to triple match point, she brought Kanepi to net and won with a passing shot. She was bumped up to the No. 17 seed at the U.S. Open.

American Stephens continues her defence on Tuesday against Latvia's 19th seed Anastasija Sevastova, which begins under the midday sun on Arthur Ashe.

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