Venus wins in New York, could meet sis­ter Ser­ena in U.S. Open third round

The Peterborough Examiner - - Voice of Business - BRIAN MA­HONEY

NEW YORK — Venus Wil­liams did her part to set up an ear­lier-thanusual Grand Slam ten­nis matchup with sis­ter Ser­ena at the U.S. Open, beat­ing Italy’s Camila Giorgi 6-4, 7-5 on Wed­nes­day.

Ser­ena was sched­uled to play Wed­nes­day night, when a vic­tory would have the Wil­liams sis­ters meet­ing in the third round, ear­lier than they have in a Grand Slam in 20 years.

De­fend­ing cham­pion Sloane Stephens and two-time U.S. Open fi­nal­ist Vic­to­ria Azarenka will also meet in the third round af­ter vic­to­ries on an­other hot and hu­mid day at the fi­nal Grand Slam tour­na­ment of the year, where win­ning wasn’t enough.

Win­ning quickly and get­ting back in­doors was on every­one’s mind. “Yeah, I’m very happy about that,” Azarenka said af­ter over­pow­er­ing No. 25 seed Daria Gavrilova of Aus­tralia 6-1, 6-2.

Venus Wil­liams was spared some of the most di­rect sun by play­ing in the re­built Louis Arm­strong Sta­dium, which is well shaded. But there was only so much pro­tec­tion avail­able on a day when tem­per­a­tures soared into the mid-30s C for the sec­ond straight day.

“Maybe the hottest con­di­tions I have ev­ery played (in),” No. 20 seed Borna Coric said af­ter win­ning his sec­ond-round match in straight sets.

An ex­treme heat rule was to re­main in ef­fect un­til fur­ther no­tice, al­low­ing men to take a 10-minute break be­tween the third and fourth sets of sin­gles matches, and women be­tween their sec­ond and third sets.

Ser­ena Wil­liams — at No. 17 seeded one spot below her older sis­ter — should face cooler con­di­tions dur­ing a night match against Ca­rina Wit­thoeft.

If she wins, the show­down with Venus would be the ear­li­est be­tween the Wil­liams sis­ters at a Grand Slam tour­na­ment since they played in the sec­ond round of the 1998 Aus­tralian Open in their very first meet­ing on tour.

Stephens was in trou­ble early be­fore ral­ly­ing to beat Ukrainian qual­i­fier An­helina Kalin­ina 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.

Other seeded win­ners on the women’s side in­cluded No. 8 Elina Svi­tolina, No. 15 Elise Mertens, No. 19 Anas­tasija Sev­as­tova and No. 23 Barbora Strycova, all in straight sets.

Stan Wawrinka ran his U.S. Open win­ning streak to nine, and the 2016 cham­pion will next meet No. 25 seed Mi­los Raonic.

But No. 15 seed Ste­fanos Tsit­si­pas was elim­i­nated in the sec­ond round, a sur­pris­ingly early exit af­ter his strong hard-court sea­son.

FRANK FRANKLIN II THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Venus Wil­liams serves to Camila Giorgi at Wed­nes­day’s U.S. Open.

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