Serena, Venus to lock horns in quarterfinals

Serena, Venus to lock horns in quarterfinals

Serena, Venus  to lock horns  in quarterfinals

The Williams Family show took centre stage at the US Open with Serena and Venus both cruising to straight set wins on Sunday to set up a huge quarterfinal between the tennis siblings.

Whenever the Williams sisters clash on court it is a major tennis event but with older sister Venus, a twice US Open winner, standing in the way of defending champion Serena's quest for a rare calendar-year Grand Slam their meeting on Tuesday has been elevated to a must-see sporting viewing.

While the National Tennis Center was abuzz over another Williams showdown, world number one Novak Djokovic was hard at work taming Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to reach his 26th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Only Roger Federer (36) and Jimmy Connors (27) have registered more consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances than Djokovic since the slams began including professionals in 1968.

With Serena bidding to become just the fourth woman to win all four majors in the same year, the US Open hype machine that already had been in top gear is now set to crank into overdrive.

The Williams sisters have met 26 times over their careers with Serena coming out on top 15-11 but meeting number 27 will have more than the usual family bragging rights riding on the outcome.

The 35-year-old Venus, seeded 23rd, overpowered 19-year-old qualifier Estonian Anett Kontaveit 6-2, 6-1 in a ruthless fourth-round display that took just 50 minutes.
Serena followed her sister onto Arthur Ashe Stadium court and was no less efficient, routing fellow American Madison Keys 6-3, 6-3 in 68 minutes.

Four Frenchmen made the round of 16, a US Open record, and at least one advanced to the quarter-finals, with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beating countryman Benoit Paire 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.
Fabio Fognini, who toppled RafaelNadal in an epic five-setter that ended early Saturday morning, had nothing left in his tank for his fourth-round clash with Feliciano Lopez, the 18th seeded Spaniard easing to a 6-3 7-6(5) 6-1 win.

Azarenka sparkles
Two-time runner-up Victoria Azarenka reached her fourth US Open quarterfinal on Monday with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Varvara Lepchenko of the United States.
Former world number one Azarenka, the 20th seed, will face either Romanian second seed Simona Halep or Sabine Lisicki, the 24th-seeded German, for a place in the semifinals.

The Belarusian, whose season has been stalled by a left thigh strain, appeared on Arthur Ashe Stadium with both biceps tightly strapped.

"It's a little embarrassing. I have blisters from my shirts rubbing against my arms so I needed the bandages," said Azarenka, the runner-up to Serena Williams in 2012 and 2013. Lepchenko, who was bidding to become the first American woman not called Williams to make the last-eight since 2009, was broken in the third and ninth games of the opening set.

She rallied to edge ahead in the first game of the second but handed the break straight back to the 26-year-old Azarenka.

The Belarus star carved another break for 5-3 before faltering when she served for the match.

But she secured victory in the next game on her first match point when left-handed Lepchenko went wide.

"I felt at 5-3 that I never went for my shots, she didn't give me much rhythm," she said.
"But I told myself to be aggressive and go for it."

Results (fourth round, prefix denotes seeding): Men's singles: 1-Novak Djokovic (Serbia) bt 23-Roberto Bautista (Spain) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3; 19-Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (France) bt Benoit Paire (France) 6-4, 6-3, 6-4; 9-Marin Cilic (Croatia) bt 27-Jeremy Chardy (France) 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-1; 18-Feliciano Lopez (Spain) bt 32-Fabio Fognini (Italy) 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-1.

Women’s singles: Kristina Mladenovic (France) bt 13-Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-1; 1-Serena Williams (US) bt 19-Madison Keys (US) 6-3, 6-3; Roberta Vinci (Italy) w/o 25-Eugenie Bouchard (Canada); 23-Venus Williams (US) bt Anett Kontaveit (Estonia) 6-2, 6-1.

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