Monday, September 7, 2015

Williams sisters to meet in U.S. Open quarterfinals

Serena Williams, shown last year, dismissed 19th-seeded
Madison Keys 6-3, 6-3 in 68 minutes on Sunday.
Tri Nguyen/TriNguyenPhotography.com
   Matches between the Williams sisters have always been problematic.
   But the series will take on a new dimension on Tuesday.
   No. 1 seed Serena Williams and No. 23 seed Venus Williams will meet in the U.S. Open quarterfinals after one-sided victories on Sunday in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
   Serena dismissed No. 19 Madison Keys of Boca Raton, Fla., 6-3, 6-3 in 68 minutes, and Venus drubbed qualifier Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-2, 6-1 in 50 minutes.
   Serena leads Venus 15-11, including 8-5 in majors, in the head-to-head series. Neither, though, wants to beat the other. That will be especially true for Venus, 35, on Tuesday as Serena, who will turn 34 on Sept. 26, pursues the first calendar-year Grand Slam since Steffi Graf's in 1988.
   "I know it's going to be hard, because I know (Venus) wants (Serena) to get it," their mother, Oracene Price, was quoted as saying by The Associated Press.
   Serena was focused from the beginning for a change on Sunday. She has a habit of falling behind unheralded players because she knows she can get away with it.
Venus Williams, shown last year, needed only 50
minutes to beat qualifier Anett Kontaveit 6-2, 6-1
on Sunday. Photo by Paul Bauman
   But Williams was wary of Keys, a 20-year-old rising star, after needing nine match points to subdue her 7-6 (5), 6-2 in the Australian Open semifinals in January. This time, Williams committed only six unforced errors and never faced a break point.
   The other quarterfinal in the top half of the draw will feature unseeded players Kristina Mladenovic of France and Roberta Vinci of Italy.
   Mladenovic, 22, surprised 13th-seeded Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-1 to reach a Grand Slam singles quarterfinals for the first time. The match ended after 1 a.m. EDT.
   Makarova, a 27-year-old left-hander, made the semifinals of last year's U.S. Open and this year's Australian Open.
   No. 25 Eugenie Bouchard withdrew from her match against Vinci after suffering a concussion in a locker room fall on Friday.
   The other quarterfinals will be determined today.
   Two men's quarterfinals also are set. No. 1 Novak Djokovic will play No. 18 Feliciano Lopez of Spain, and No. 9 Marin Cilic, the defending champion from Croatia, will face No. 19 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.
   Djokovic, the 2011 champion, defeated No. 23 Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.  Djokovic had not lost a set in the tournament.
   Lopez beat No. 32 Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-1. Fognini was coming off a five-set victory over two-time U.S. Open champion Rafael Nadal.
   Northern California connection -- Raquel Kops-Jones of San Jose lost in the third round of women's doubles and the second round of mixed doubles.
   Sixth-seeded Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears of Colorado Springs, Colo., fell to 11th-seeded Sara Errani and Flavia Pennetta of Italy 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 in women's doubles.
   And seventh-seeded Kops-Jones and Raven Klaasen of South Africa lost to Anastasia Rodionova of Australia and Max Mirnyi of Belarus 6-4, 6-3 in mixed doubles.               
   Michaela Gordon, 16, of Saratoga won in the first round of girls singles, beating Rebeka Masarova of Switzerland 7-5, 6-4.
   Sam Riffice, 16, of Roseville fell to 13th-seeded Lloyd George Harris, 18, of South Africa 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-4 in the opening round of boys singles. Riffice made his Grand Slam debut.  

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