By Richard Kent, Staff Reporter
NEW YORK — Both players played great. One of the players came up bigger on the biggest points. That was No. 3 seed Serena Williams, as she defeated No. 15 Maria Sakkari of Greece, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 to book a spot in the US Open quarterfinals.
It will mark Williams 53rd Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance and her 100th career win at the Open. Williams came out serving with abandon. Sakkari found her game in the second set and outfoxed Williams in the tiebreaker to win her 8th consecutive tie breaker.
Sakkari got an early break in the third set — leading 2-0 — but Williams upped her game and Sakkari played some loose service points to close out the victory for the 23-time Grand Slam winner.
Six of those titles have come at the U.S. Open.
This was a rematch of a match played 13 days ago at the Western&Southern Open on the the US Open grounds. Sakkari won that in 3 tough sets. That loss was definitely on Williams mind, when Sakkari came back to win the second set today.
“Of course I thought about it, but it’s a completely different match and a completely different moment.” she said Williams will play fellow mom Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria on Wednesday.
She has a career 4-0 record against her foe, with 2 of those matches going 3 sets.