Serena trumps sister to keep calendar slam on track

Wed Sep 9, 2015 11:12am EDT
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By Steve Keating

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Serena Williams kept her bid for a calendar-year grand slam on track, powering past big sister Venus 6-2 1-6 6-3 on a steamy star-studded night at the U.S. Open on Tuesday.

Serena moved into the semi-finals, just two wins from history, in what proved the toughest test of her four matches.

It is a major tennis event whenever the Williams sisters clash, and with Venus, twice a U.S. Open winner, standing in the way of defending champion Serena's quest, their latest meeting turned into a primetime extravaganza, pulling in a crowd of A-listers including U.S. presidential candidate and real estate mogul Donald Trump and television celebrity Oprah Winfrey.

Playing under the bright lights on the biggest stage in tennis, the Williams show crackled with more tension and drama than a Broadway production, relegating men's champion Marin Cilic to a warmup act while world number one Novak Djokovic pulled mop up duty.

For those who did stick around the National Tennis Center until the early hours of Wednesday morning they were treated to more superb tennis as Djokovic fought off a challenge from 18th seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-1 3-6 6-3 7-6(2).

The Williams sisters had met 26 times before but never with so much riding on the result.

A win by Venus would move her a step closer to a first grand slam since 2008 Wimbledon but would scuttle Serena's chances of joining their sport's most exclusive club of calendar-year grand slam winners which comprises just three members, Maureen Connolly, Margaret Court and Steffi Graf.

The buzz around Arthur Ashe Stadium was like that of heavyweight title fight and the action on the court was much the same as Serena and Venus put family ties aside and slugged it out like sworn enemies.   Continued...

Serena Williams returns a shot to her sister Venus. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri