Pliskova ends hopes of Williams sisters' showdown

Mon Sep 5, 2016 6:16pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Karolina Pliskova ruined any chance of another Flushing Meadows sister showdown as she claimed a dramatic 4-6 6-4 7-6(3) win over sixth-seeded Venus Williams on Monday to reach the U.S. Open quarter-finals.

At 36-years-old and the oldest remaining player in the draw, Williams battled until the bitter end as her 24-year-old Czech opponent needed five match points and nearly two-and-a-half hours in a seething Arthur Ashe Stadium to put away the twice champion.

Adding to the suspense, Williams also had a match point opportunity of her own which she failed to convert.

"You can have a few good matches but to win matches like this, it takes some time," said Pliskova, who has developed a reputation as a grand slam under-achiever having never been beyond the third round until this year's U.S. Open.

"You need to have experience definitely on the big stages, on the big tournaments. That was the biggest stage that I've played. In the States, obviously against American girl, I knew it's going to be tough.

"But I just wanted to beat her, not the crowd, (it) is impossible to beat 23,000 people."

Since the draw was unveiled, tennis fans had circled a potential semi-final between the sport's most famous siblings on American tennis's biggest stage where world number one Serena and Venus have met five times, including twice in the finals.

Now it is 10th-seeded Pliskova, who will play Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska or Croatia's Ana Konjuh in the quarters, who would need to complete a Williams double to reach her first grand slam final.   Continued...

Sep 5, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic hits a backhand against Venus Williams of the United States (not pictured) on day eight of the 2016 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Pliskova won 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(3). Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports