No Wil­liams clash af­ter Venus up­set

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS - By Howard Fendrich

NEW YORK — Venus Wil­liams went from dow­nand-out to a point from vic­tory, then back again. In the end, she couldn’t quite get past a wo­man a dozen years younger and never be­fore at this stage of a Grand Slam tour­na­ment.

Wil­liams failed to con­vert a match point and lost 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3) to 10thseeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Repub­lic in the fourth round of the U.S. Open, de­spite vo­cif­er­ous sup­port from the Arthur Ashe Sta­dium crowd down the stretch.

“I re­ally played the per­fect point there,” the sixth­seeded Wil­liams said about her chance to end things while up 5-4 in the third set and Pliskova serv­ing at 3040, “and she man­aged to stay alive.”

At 36, Wil­liams would have been the old­est wo­man to reach the quar­ter­fi­nals at any ma­jor since Martina Navratilova was 37 at Wim­ble­don in 1994.

Wil­liams made it that far at Flush­ing Mead­ows a year ago be­fore los­ing to her younger sis­ter Ser­ena. This time, they had been on course for an all-in-the­fam­ily show­down in the semi­fi­nals; Ser­ena beat Yaroslava Shve­dova 6-2, 6-3 in the fourth round for her 308th Grand Slam match vic­tory, break­ing a tie with Roger Fed­erer for most in the Open era, which dates to 1968.

Also reach­ing the quar­ter­fi­nals with a vic­tory Mon­day was Si­mona Halep, who elim­i­nated No. 11 Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 7-5. Now it’s 2014 French Open run­ner-up Halep’s turn to try to deal with the serve of Ser­ena Wil­liams, who reached a tour­na­ment-best 126 mph, de­liv­ered 11 aces and won 28 of 30 first-serve points against Shve­dova.

In men’s ac­tion, No. 2 Andy Mur­ray eased into the quar­ter­fi­nals, beat­ing No. 22 Grigor Dim­itrov 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. Mur­ray will face Kei Nishikori, who ad­vanced by beat­ing No. 21 Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

Juan Martin del Potro be­came the low­est-ranked man in the U.S. Open quar­ter­fi­nals in 25 years, ad­vanc­ing when No. 8 seed Do­minic Thiem stopped in the sec­ond set be­cause of an in­jured right knee.

ED­UARDO MUNOZ AL­VAREZ/GETTY-AFP

Venus Wil­liams re­acts af­ter los­ing a point to Karolina Pliskova dur­ing Pliskova’s 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3) vic­tory Mon­day.

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