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

Marcus Newton
September 3, 2018

Asked about the improvements she has made since losing in the final of Wimbledon to Angelique Kerber, Williams said: "The thing I've improved most is my fitness". But I just went on the court just to get the win - it was not for me just to go and enjoy, or just to go and do some games against her. So it wasn't like my level went down tremendously. I haven't been single for a long time.

"On clay, I think it's one of the biggest challenges in sports to beat this guy or to compete with this guy", Thiem said.

Williams returned to Slam competition at the French Open in May, only to withdraw before her last-16 match against Maria Sharapova of Russian Federation because of injury.

Because Williams skipped last year's tournament in New York, Pliskova is also the last player to beat the six-time champion in the U.S. Open.

Williams is still going, on to a matchup with eighth-seeded Karolina Pliskova. "I feel like they obviously have great respect from a lot of their peers, especially other athletes, people that really are looking for social change".

"She still hasn't played many tournaments yet, but her level is there".

Serena said she was grateful for the stand they took that has seen both players take on the NFL. She hasn't won since and is trying to avoid going without a Grand Slam for the first year since 2011.

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Just as quickly as the momentum swung to Kanepi, it returned to Williams in the third set as the 36-year-old American broke her opponent at the first opportunity and jumped out to a 3-0 lead before cruising to victory.

It was the first set she had taken off the American in five meetings. Isner defeated No. 25 Milos Raonic of Canada 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 and now faces 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro who pounded 18 forehand winners in a 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 victory over No. 20 Borna Coric and hasn't dropped a set through four matches.

Williams heads into the second week at Flushing Meadows tracking two milestones: A seventh US Open title would see her break out of a tie with Chris Evert for the Open Era record and also equal Australian Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 major titles.

He next will face the victor of Sunday night's match between third-seeded Juan Martin del Potro - the 2009 Open champ - and 20th-seeded Borna Coric.

In the women's draw, Anastasija Sevastova advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-0 win over Elina Svitolina.

"Now is the moment to make the next step, step forward, play more aggressive". "I heard that's an terrible thing to do".

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