NEW YORK (AP) – At an orphaned U.S. Open this year, Serena Williams couldn’t count on people’s encouragement to motivate her.

It was no problem. She found the momentum herself to emerge victorious from her round of 16 match.

With his breath loud enough to be heard in desolate Arthur Ashe Stadium, Williams pushed himself into a 13-shot rally until his opponent deposited a return at the net.

« Don’t stop fighting! » He urged himself.

Yelling at herself point after point, Williams rallied in the third set against an opponent they had lost less than two weeks ago and defeated Maria Sakkari 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-3 at Flushing. Meadows.

“I am intense with or without spectators… I am super passionate. This is my job. For this I get out of bed. This is what I train for, 365 days a year, « said Williams, who took another step closer to equaling the record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.

Williams will be in the US Open quarterfinals for the 12th consecutive time.

At the end of the game, Williams turned around and yelled at her husband sitting in the front row, and he too responded euphoric.

How close was the duel? Sakkari – the 15th seed and looking to become the first Greek woman to reach the quarterfinals of a great – racked up more aces than Williams, 13-12, and more winners, 35-30.

It was the revenge of the game they played on August 25, when Williams capitulated after taking the lead and lost in three sets to Sakkari at the Western & Southern Open, a hard court tournament usually played in Ohio, but was transferred to the venue. of the US Open as part of a double round of contests with a « controlled environment » without an audience amid the coronavirus pandemic.

« Of course I remembered it (the loss), but a little bit, because it’s a totally different game, a totally different situation, a totally different moment, » said Williams, who will turn 39 in less than three weeks.

In the previous confrontation, the American accused leg cramps, something for which she took responsibility.

That loss left Williams 3-2 since the circuit resumed business after being paralyzed by the pandemic. All playing three sets. And since then? He is 4-0 at this US Open, a date in which he has won six of his 23 Grand Slam titles.

Williams moved within two points of the win over Sakkari by drawing 6-6 in the second set tiebreaker, but lost the next two points and the set. The third started through thick and thin, 2-0 down. But he did not lower his arms.

For the place in the semifinals, Williams will now face the Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, who defeated 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3 to the French Alizé Cornet,

Pironkova is playing her first tournament since Wimbledon in 2017. She decided to step away from tennis to give birth to her son, Alexander.

Additionally, 16th seed Elise Mertens eliminated second-seeded Sofia Kenin 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the tournament for the second year in a row and leave the American without a chance to win Grand Slams in a row.

Kenin won the Australian Open and was trying to become the first player to win consecutive Grand Slam titles since Naomi Osaka won the U.S. 2018 Open and the 2019 Australian Open.

Mertens will meet Victoria Azarenka, who defeated 20th seed Karolina Muchova 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 to round out her ninth victory, Azarenka won the Western & Southern Open, the week before the tournament, on the same courts from Flushing Meadows.

In the men’s draw, where the disqualification of Novak Djokovic on Sunday left the tournament without previous Grand Slam champions, Austrian Dominic Thiem (2nd seeded) scored a close first set and then swept in victory 7-6 (4 ), 6-1, 6-1 against Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime (15) to advance to the quarters.

Thiem, a three-time Grand Slam finalist, will meet Alex de Miñaur, a 21-year-old Australian who will make his debut in the second to last instance of a great. De Miñaur counted 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-2 from Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

With the defeat of the 30-year-old Pospisil, this will be the first US Open since 2010 without at least one thirty-year-old male in the quarterfinals.

In another match, 10th seed Andrey Rublev exacted revenge at the U.S. Open and advanced to the quarterfinals with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Italian Matteo Berrettini, sixth in the seed.

The two also met in the fourth round of the tournament last year, a match that Berrettini won in straight sets. This time around, the 22-year-old Russian was much more consistent on his way to the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows for the second time in his career and the first since 2017.

Berrettini had won all 45 of his serve games in his first three matches of the tournament, but Rublev broke his serve four times and will face Daniil Medvedev in the next round.

Medvedev, third seed and finalist last year at Flushing Meadows, advanced with a comfortable 6-4, 6-1 and 6-0 win over American Frances Tiafoe in just one hour and 38 minutes.

The defendants, whose identity was not disclosed by the authorities, were sentenced to 20 years in prison. The verdict was criticized by the UN special rapporteur for extrajudicial executions, Agnès Callamard, and by Hatice Cengiz, girlfriend of the victim, who called the ruling a « farce »

The defendants, whose identity was not disclosed by the authorities, were sentenced to 20 years in prison. The verdict was criticized by the UN special rapporteur for extrajudicial executions, Agnès Callamard, and by Hatice Cengiz, girlfriend of the victim, who called the ruling a « farce »

The defendants, whose identity was not disclosed by the authorities, were sentenced to 20 years in prison. The verdict was criticized by the UN special rapporteur for extrajudicial executions, Agnès Callamard, and by Hatice Cengiz, girlfriend of the victim, who called the ruling a « farce »

The defendants, whose identity was not disclosed by the authorities, were sentenced to 20 years in prison. The verdict was criticized by the UN special rapporteur for extrajudicial executions, Agnès Callamard, and by Hatice Cengiz, girlfriend of the victim, who called the ruling a « farce »

MORE NEWS