Serena Williams moves past Kaia Kanepi at U.S. Open

Ruben Holloway
September 3, 2018

Williams and Pliskova are 1-1 in head-to-head matches, but Pliskova defeated Williams in the semifinals here in 2016.

Williams returned to tournament play in February. She won with a powerful combination of freedom from the burden of expectation and confidence that came from 10 consecutive victories leading into that match. "Coming back from having a baby is really hard".

Pliskova was looking forward to it, too. I was, like, a dark horse.

Williams has advanced to the fourth round of the US Open on 17 times in 18 attempts, her best success rate among Slams for reaching the Round of 16.

It was about as ideal a start anyone could have to match Williams, who was guilty of just two unforced errors while firing 14 winners and converting all three break chances.

"Never, never, never. I'm the type of person, if the ball goes over my head, I'm like, 'whatever, ' in practice", she said. I haven't been single for a long time.

Kanepi, a former World No.15 who reached the US Open quarterfinals in 2010 and a year ago, fired 22 winners to 18 unforced errors in the match.

This time, Pliskova won't be the dark horse.

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Stephens had quite a point, one that showed off the best of her versatile game, and so a reporter began recounting what happened to the defending U.S. Open champion after she won Sunday night to get back to the quarterfinals.

"She hit a drop shot".

"We always have tough matches, so I am just happy to get through".

"I think every athlete, every human, and definitely every African-American should be completely grateful and honored how Colin and Eric are doing so much more for the greater good", she said.

"Winning a big game and a very important game and a really tight game, I think it was just a relief". I know how it is to be in the final, actually in the second week of Grand Slams.

The Czech will be running into a woman on a roll Tuesday.

"It wasn't that my level went down tremendously, it was literally one or two points which made a huge difference in that second set". But Williams slammed a whopping 46 winners during the encounter, including a staggering 18 aces.

When asked whether Williams was playing as well as the 33-year-old Kanepi had ever seen, the Estonian's response was simple.

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Williams's fellow American John Isner booked his trip to the quarterfinals in the men's draw Sunday, defeating No. 25 seed Milos Raonic, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, in Louis Armstrong Stadium.

"It was a Serena scream", Williams said with a smile.

The 25-year-old Stephens, meanwhile, was last but not least on the women's side on Sunday, showcasing smarts and striking in her bout with No. 15 Elise Mertens.

When she ripped a backhand victor to claim the third set's opening game on Sunday, Williams let out her loudest shout of the day, leaning forward and rocking both arms.

Williams also greeted Reid's niece after the match. Kanepi was matching Williams' power with booming groundstrokes of her own.

"I'm surprised it hasn't come down to a 10".

Williams, whose recovery from giving birth was complicated by life-threatening blood clots, has been open about her emotional struggles as a new mother and the difficulty of balancing her commitment to caring for her daughter and her career.

"She was No.1 previous year", Williams said, "I think she got there for a reason".

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