Another win for Serena!
Serena Williams returned to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center today for the 10th day of competition to get to the US Open semifinals. After an intense battle, she prevailed, beating Tsvetana Pironkova 4-6, 6-3, 6-2; now she's headed to the semifinals for the 11th consecutive time.
This was Pironkova's first tournament in three years since she left to start her family. Williams acknowledged her strength as a mother and as a player in their post-game interview.
“It just shows me how tough moms are,” said Williams, who has a 3-year-old daughter, Olympia. “Whenever you can give birth to a baby, honestly, you can do anything. And I think we saw that with Tsvetana today.”
In the second set, the 23-time Grand Slam champion rebounded after losing the opening game. Williams finished the match with 20 aces and 44 winners. But she also had 24 unforced errors, Pironkova 26. The intense battle took a toll on both of them, with Pironkova at one point collapsing onto the floor with sweat pouring down her body.
”I’m happy to be standing here talking to you,” she said in an ESPN interview on court post-game. “Because I think at one point, I was pretty close to not being here. I keep fighting, and that’s something I’m super excited about. I never give up, and I have to keep going.”
Williams, who turns 39 in less than three weeks, is only two rounds away from a record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles. According to a New York Times report, Williams is now 44-42 in Grand Slam singles matches when she loses the first set: an extraordinary record that makes her the only woman with more than 25 major games to have a winning record in such instances.
On Thursday, Williams will face No. 16 Elise Mertens or unseeded Victoria Azarenka. Their quarterfinal is scheduled for Wednesday night.
Keep going Serena, you've got this!
Photo Credit: US Tennis Association/Twitter