Venus and Serena set stage for huge quarter-final clash
By Steve Keating
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Williams Family show took center stage at the U.S. Open with Serena and Venus both cruising to straight set wins on Sunday to set up a monster quarter-final between the tennis siblings.
Whenever the Williams sisters clash on court it is a major tennis event but with older sister Venus, a twice U.S. Open winner, standing in the way of defending champion Serena's quest for a rare calendar-year grand slam their meeting on Tuesday has been elevated to a must-see sporting viewing.
While the National Tennis Center was abuzz over another Williams grand slam showdown, world number one Novak Djokovic was hard at work taming Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-3 to reach his 26th consecutive grand slam quarter-final.
Only Roger Federer (36) and Jimmy Connors (27) have registered more consecutive grand slam quarter-final appearances than Djokovic since the slams began including professionals in 1968.
With Serena bidding to become just the fourth woman to win all four grand slams in the same year, the U.S. Open hype machine that already had been in top gear is now set to crank into overdrive.
The Williams sisters have 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.
"Obviously getting to a Grand Slam semifinal is the next step toward the final. Pretty clear what's up for grabs here," said Venus. "I think people love to see history being made.
"No one is out to be a spoiler, but at the same time, you're focused on winning your match even though the circumstances are really much different than you. Continued...