For tennis fans, it’s always a treat to watch Serena and Venus Williams play one another, and even more so as the years pass and the opportunities to do so dwindle.
On Friday night in the third round of the US Open, however, the match was one-sided as Serena cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over her older sister and four-time Olympic doubles teammate in Flushing, New York. This is the 17th time in a row that Serena has advanced to the Round of 16; she is going for her seventh US Open title.
Serena, 36, was virtually unstoppable as Venus, 38, struggled to gain any momentum in the match.
Afterward, Serena said in an on-court interview that it’s not easy playing her sister.
“She’s my best friend, she means the world to me and she’s supportive of my career and I’m extremely supportive of her career,” said Serena, a four-time Olympic medalist of Venus, a five-time Olympic medalist. “Every time she loses I feel like I do. It’s not easy but it’s a tournament and we all know there’s more to life than playing each other and playing tennis.”
Serena rolled her ankle early in the first set and had to have it taped heavily following the third game ahead 2-1, but she came back and won the first point back after a 10-minute break and only got better as the match wore on.
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She won the next seven games in a row before Venus took one to make it 6-1, 2-1.
Serena now holds an 18-12 record against Venus and an 11-5 advantage in Grand Slams, the first of which they participated in at the Australian Open in 1998 when Venus was 17 and beat a 16-year-old Serena. Their last meeting before Friday was at the 2017 Australian Open when Serena defeated Venus in the final for her 23rd Grand Slam title.
With the win, Serena advances to the Round of 16 and will likely play Sunday.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.