Serena Williams maintained her course to win all four Grand Slam titles in a calendar year on Tuesday at the Arthur Ashe Stadium as she beat older sister, Venus in three sets of 6-2 1-6 6-3.
It was the 27th meeting between the sisters since 1998, but this one was a momentous occasion as Serena sought to join a club of calendar Grand Slam winners that includes just three – Maureen Connolly, Margaret Court and Steffi Graf — while Venus was trying to win a Grand Slam since her last in 2008. And the weight of what Serena is chasing is explained in a different light when legends of the game like Martina Navratilova and Roger Federer cannot even make this very exclusive club.
After the encounter that lasted 1hr 36mins, Serena complemented her sister by saying her sister was the greatest competitor she has ever faced on court.
“She’s the toughest player I ever played in my life and the best person I know,” Serena said in the on-court interview after her victory. It was a close match as Serena overall just won one more point than her sister; 76-75.
“So it’s going against your best friend and at the same time going against the greatest competitor for me in women’s tennis, so it was really difficult today.
“She’s the toughest player I ever played in my life and the best person I know. So it’s going against your best friend and at the same time going against the greatest competitor for me in women’s tennis, so it was really difficult today.
“When I’m playing her, I don’t think of her as my sister, because she’s playing so well, hitting big serves and running a lot of balls down.” The 33-year-old top seed, winner of 21 grand slam singles titles, took charge of the opening set by securing service breaks in the fifth and seventh games after a brilliant start by Venus.
Serena is now two matches away from making it 22 Grand slam titles, and becoming arguably the greatest female tennis player ever.
The first set was a tight affair with the younger sister dominating with her powerful serve. Serena broke Venus in the fifth and seventh games to take the set 6-3. The second set swung mightily in favour of Venus as she peppered her sister with devastating returns and worked all the angles of the court. The crowd at Arthur Ashe were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was for Venus as she claimed the second set 6-1.
But normal service was resumed in the third as Serena calmly played her way to another two breaks to win it 6-3.
Serena afterwards revealed that she did not change anything in her game. “Yes, it was very tough on court but when it is done, we become sisters again, room mates.
“This is a big moment for both Venus and I. We both had a chance to be in the semi-finals. It’s a grand slam. We’re very competitive. We’re just trying to give each other a great match,” Serena added.
The world No.1 will face Roberta Vinci in the semi finals and if she gets through the challenge of the unseeded Italian, then she could likely face Victoria Azarenka in the final.