Serena overcomes Venus to reach U.S. Open semis; Djokovic to play Cilic

Serena Williams keeps her bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam intact by outslugging older sister Venus 6-2 1-6 6-3 in the U.S. Open quarter-finals while Novak Djokovic beats Feliciano Lopez in four sets and will play defending champion Marin Cilic in the semi-finals.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (SEPTEMBER 8, 2015) (IMG/USTA) – Serena Williams kept her bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam intact by outslugging older sister Venus 6-2 1-6 6-3 in a power-packed quarter-final at Serena overcomes Venus to reach U.S. Open semis the U.S. Open on Tuesday (September 8).

Serena entered the match with a 15-11 head-to-head advantage over Venus but the high number of losses to her 35-year-old sibling represented the most posted by any opponent against the world number one, who knew she was in for a tough fight.

The 33-year-old top seed, winner of 21 grand slam singles titles, took charge of the opening set by securing service breaks in the fifth and seventh games of a match that felt like a heavyweight title bout after a brilliant start by Venus.

However, Venus looked more like the player who has claimed seven grand slam singles titles in the second set, unleashing her power and drawing groundstroke errors from Serena for two service breaks that sent the match to a third set.

Serena seized control early in the decider and rode the momentum to the finish in her quest to join Maureen Connolly (1953), Margaret Court (1970) and Steffi Graf (1988) as the only women to win Wimbledon and the Australian, French and U.S. Opens in the same season.

The sisters exchanged a warm hug at the end of the 98-minute battle.

Next up for Serena will be unseeded Italian Roberta Vinci, who earlier defeated France’s Kristina Mladenovic 6-3 5-7 6-4.

In the men’s draw, top seed Novak Djokovic was tested by net-charging Spaniard Feliciano Lopez in a duel of volleys and passing shots before booking a berth in the semi-finals in the wee hours of Wednesday (September 9).

On a hot, humid night at Flushing Meadows, Djokovic waged an entertaining battle with the 33-year-old serve-and-volleyer, before finishing off the 18th seed 7-2 in the fourth set tiebreaker to complete a 6-1 3-6 6-3 7-6(2) victory.

Lopez won 28 of 41 serve-and-volley points, while Djokovic countered with 33 forays to the net that produced 19 points for the world number one.

Lopez served up 14 aces, while Djokovic registered nine.

Djokovic, 61-5 with six titles this season, will face defending champion Marin Cilic of Croatia in the semi-finals. The ninth-seeded Cilic advanced with a five-set win against France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.