US Open: Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens reach US Open quarter-finals

Sep 04, 2018, 09:17 IST | AFP

Quarter-finals of a Grand Slam is always really tough. A big opportunity for both of us. Being defending champion, being able to get to the quarter-finals again, is incredible, Sloane Stephens said

US Open: Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens reach US Open quarter-finals
Serena celebrates her win over Kaia Kanepi on Sunday. Pics/AFP

Six-time champion Serena Williams survived a spirited challenge from unseeded Kaia Kanepi to triumph 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 on Sunday and reach the quarter-finals of the US Open. The 23-time Grand Slam champion looked set to romp home when she seized the first set from Kanepi in just 18 minutes, but the hard-hitting Estonian, who took out World No. 1 Simona Halep in the first round, settled down in the second set, shaking off the partisan crowd in a jammed Arthur Ashe Stadium to push Williams the rest of the way.

"It wasn't an easy match at all," said Williams. "It was a big relief for me to win a big game and a very important one," she added. Defending champion Sloane Stephens, the third seed, eased past Elise Mertens 6-3, 6-3 to book a quarter-final rematch with Latvian Anastasija Sevastova. Sevastova toppled seventh-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-3, 1-6, 6-0, leaving just two of the top 10 women's seeds remaining.

Sloane Stephens is all smiles after her win over Elise Mertens
Sloane Stephens is all smiles after her win over Elise Mertens

Stephens, runner-up to Halep at the French Open, was looking forward to taking on Sevastova again in her bid to push ahead in her title defense. "Quarter-finals of a Grand Slam is always really tough. A big opportunity for both of us. Being defending champion, being able to get to the quarter-finals again, is incredible," she said.

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