Serena wins all-Williams clash

DOMINANT: Serena Williams of the USA reacts after beating her sister Venus Williams in a third round match on Friday.

Serena Williams turned her 30th career meeting with her sister Venus into a one-woman showcase Friday, reaching the US Open fourth round with a 6-1, 6-2 victory.

Reluctantly rising to an occasion neither sister enjoys, Serena said she played her best match since she returned in March, more than six months after giving birth to daughter Olympia last September 1.

“I played much better tonight than I have since I started this journey on my way back,” said Serena.

The scoreline equalled Serena’s most lopsided victory over Venus, and took her head-to-head record against her sister to 18-12.

Serena will take on Kaia Kanepi for a place in the quarterfinals. The Estonian defeated Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson 6-3, 7-6 (7/3).

Defending champion Sloane Stephens booked her fourth-round berth with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over former world number one Victoria Azarenka.

Stephens will face 15th-seeded Belgian Elise Mertens for a place in the quarters after Mertens beat Czech Barbora Strycova 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).

Seventh seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina beat China’s Wang Qiang 6-4, 6-4 to set up a meeting with Latvian Anastasija Sevastova, a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 winner over Russian Ekaterina Makarova.

Eighth-seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova advanced with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) victory over 19-year-old American Sofia Kenin.

Pliskova set up a meeting with 22-year-old Australian Ashleigh Barty, who is through to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time after a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Karolina Muchova.

Nadal wins epic struggle 

Among men, world number one Rafael Nadal came back from a set and break down to defeat big-hitting Karen Khachanov 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/3) and reach the fourth round.

The top seeded Spaniard triumphed after an epic 4 hour 23-minute struggle on Arthur Ashe Stadium in a match where the 22-year-old Khachanov had served for a two sets to love lead in the 10th game of the second set and had a set point in the fourth-set tiebreaker on Friday.

Nadal will face Georgia’s world number 37 Nikoloz Basilashvili for a place in the quarterfinals.

Basilashvili reached the last-16 of a Slam for the first time by seeing off Argentina’s Guido Pella 6-3, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7/4).

Anderson survives

South Africa’s Kevin Anderson outlasted Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 as the roof on the new Louis Armstrong Stadium was closed for the first time.

The fifth seed, runner-up to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon, next faces ninth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem, who made the last 16 for the fourth time in five years with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over American Taylor Fritz.

John Isner, the last American man standing, fired 34 aces, 85 winners and saved the three break points he faced in beating Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (10/8), 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, 7-5.

He will face Milos Raonic who put out 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, 6-3.

Croatian 20th seed Borna Coric made the last 16 of a Slam for the first time with a 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 victory over Russia’s Daniil Medvedev.  Coric next faces former champion Juan Martin del Potro, who put on assured display to register a 7-5, 7-6 (8), 6-3 victory over Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco.

Results (prefix denotes seeding): Men: Third round: 1-Rafael Nadal (ESP) bt 27-Karen Khachanov (RUS) 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/3); 9-Dominic Thiem (AUT) bt Taylor Fritz (USA) 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4; 5-Kevin Anderson (RSA) bt 28-Denis Shapovalov (CAN) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4; 3-Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) bt 31-Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 7-5, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3; 11-John Isner (USA) bt Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 7-6 (10/8), 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, 7-5; 25-Milos Raonic (CAN) bt Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, 6-3.

Women: Third round: 17-Serena Williams (USA) bt 16-Venus Williams (USA) 6-1, 6-2; 8-Karolína Plísková (CZE) bt Sofia Kenin (USA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/2); 3-Sloane Stephens (USA) bt Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 6-3, 6-4; 15-Elise Mertens (BEL) bt 23-Barbora Strycova (CZE) 6-3, 7-6 (7/4); 7-Elina Svitolina (UKR) bt Wang Qiang (CHN) 6-4, 6-4.

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Serena wins all-Williams clash

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