Serena Williams remains on target for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title after hard battle from an epic fourth-round contest to beat Maria Sakkari.
Her first Us open was won 20years ago, charged to the first set which take over half an hour but her opponent push hard and, perhaps inspired by her victory.
In the pair’s last meeting two weeks ago, Sakkari have an advantage in a thrilling second set tie-break to force the decider
It was her 15th seed who struck the first blow, breaking in the third set only for Williams to break back and go on to break again in the eighth game to serve out the match.
In less than a month Serena Williams will turns 39 and since Australia open in 2017 she is without a Grand Slam singles title.
And this time around she is ready to claim the title having advanced to a showdown with Tsvetana Pironkova.
Williams said in her post-match interview on court when asked about the defeat to Sakkari she said”Of course I thought about it but it’s a completely different match and a completely different moment,
“I just kept fighting.
She was doing so well, she fought so hard, and I knew I needed to do the same thing.”
During the Western & Southern Open, Sakkari got the better of a tiring Williams, who at that time was dealing with leg cramps and faded down the stretch.
But its a different ball game this time as the six-time singles champion at Flushing Meadow battle hard to secure a win.
She two points away from victory at 6-6 in the second set tie-break before Sakkari hit back, but Williams had the final say and remains on course to go one better than 2018 and 2019 US Opens when she was defeated in both finals.
But Williams is very sure of victory as they start and as she zoomed her way through the closing stages, she was so excited to underline that commitment.
She said she feels like she’s very blunt with or without a crowd and super passionate about her job.
“This is what I train for all the year.
This is what I live up to do,
She is always prepared to compete, competing with a good attitude.
Pironkova will be next to face Serena after the Bulgarian kept up her own dream run with a 6-4 6-7 (7-5) 6-3 win over Alize Cornet.
This will be her first tournament in three years, since she takes a break following the birth of her first child.
For the first time in her career she has dazzled in New York to reach the last eight playing under her protected ranking,
Pironkova, who had already defeated two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza and 18th seed Donna Vekic in New York, was given her hardest test so far but scaled through in almost 3 hours of thrilling action.
The 32-year-old was at her best form as she fired 46 winners past Cornet and won 21 points at the net.
Cornet mounted a pressure in the second set as fatigue started to set in for Pironkova, who failed to serve for the match twice but was third time lucky in the final set when she sealed victory.