Ser­ena pow­ers into US Open fourth round

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

SER­ENA WIL­LIAMS pow­ered to a record 307th Grand Slam match win to reach the fourth round of the US Open.

The world num­ber one moved ahead of Martina Navratilova for most match wins in a ma­jor by a woman, and tied Roger Fed­erer’s mark for men with a 6-2 6-1 vic­tory over Swe­den’s Jo­hanna Lars­son.

“That’s pretty awe­some and what a place to do it, where every­thing first started,” said the 34-year-old.

Ser­ena won her first Grand Slam ti­tle at Flush­ing Mead­ows in 1999.

“To be up there with both men and women is some­thing that’s su­per rare, and it ac­tu­ally feels re­ally good,” she added.

The Amer­i­can is bid­ding to claim a 23rd Grand Slam sin­gles ti­tle, which would see her sur­pass St­effi Graf as the most suc­cess­ful woman in the Open Era.

The six-time US Open cham­pion, whose num­ber one rank­ing is un­der threat, next faces Kaza­khstan’s Yaroslava Shve­dova, a 6-2 7-5 win­ner over China’s Zhang Shuai.

Sis­ter Venus Wil­liams, the sixth seed and old­est woman in the tour­na­ment at 36, also went through with a 6-1 6-2 win over 26th seed Laura Siege­mund of Ger­many.

Venus, who won backto-back US Open ti­tles in 2000 and 2001, will com­pete for a quar­ter-fi­nal berth against Czech 10th seed Karolina Pliskova, who beat 17th-seeded Rus­sian Anas­ta­sia Pav­lyuchenkova 6-2 6-4.

She will meet her sis­ter Ser­ena in the semi-fi­nals if both con­tinue their win­ning form.

Fifth seed Si­mona Halep of Ro­ma­nia smashed her rac­quet in frus­tra­tion be­fore avoid­ing an up­set by de­feat­ing Hun­gary’s Timea Ba­bos 6-1 2-6 6-4.

Halep trailed 3-1 in the de­cid­ing set but fought back to reach the last 16.

“I don’t know how I came back. I felt like I didn’t play my best but I was fight­ing to the end for ev­ery ball,” she said.

Halep will play Spain’s 11th seed Carla Suarez Navarro for a place in the quar­ter-fi­nals.

Suarez cel­e­brated her 28th birth­day with a 6-4 6-3 vic­tory over Rus­sian Elena Ves­nina.

Fourth seed Ag­nieszka Rad­wan­ska of Poland over­came France’s Caroline Gar­cia 6-2 6-3 and will face Ana Kon­juh of Croa­tia next. — BBC Sport

Ser­ena Wil­liams

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