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 today had been elevated to a must-see sporting viewing.
With Serena bidding to become just the fourth woman to win all four grand slams in the same year, the US Openhype machine that already had been in top gear is now set to crank into overdrive
The Williams sisters 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.
“She’s playing great,” 33-year-old Serena said about seven-time grand slam winner Venus, who is two years her elder. “I have to really be ready for that.
“At least one of us, a Williams, will be in the semis.”