Venus Williams Reaches 12th US Open Quarterfinal Against Petra Kvitova
(September 3, 2017) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Ninth seed, 37-year-old Venus Williams has reached her 12th US Open quarterfinal, defeating Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 on Sunday.
“I was happy about this match because, you know, she wasn’t seeded here, but obviously she knows how to play,” Williams said. “She’s played deep in the majors. She’s won big titles. This was my best match, so I was happy to see my level rise as the tournament is continuing because I know my opponents are going to be better, I need to be better. To be able to be out there and execute things that I wanted, it was a good feeling.”
The unseeded Suarez-Navarro was celebrating her birthday, but Williams did not give her any presents on the court. Suarez Navarro, a former top ten player is a former US Open quarterfinalist.
“In the beginning of the second, she definitely caught fire,” Williams said. “There were probably a few points I could have converted on. But honestly it was all credit to her for really stepping up her level.
“I think in the third set maybe she was a little nervous, and it was an opportunity for me to be even more aggressive. That’s what I tried to do.”
Williams has now reached the quarterfinals in four of the last six majors. She’s been the third round 10 out of the last 12 majors, three out of the last 5 semis and the final of two out of the last three majors – Australian Open and Wimbledon.
Williams is the only former US Open winner left in the women’s draw.
“I’ll take any advantage I can get, let’s face it,” said the two-time winner Williams with a big smile. “But at the end of the day when I go out there and someone’s across the net from me, they’re playing well. They’re playing well. They’re not going to give you any matches. In the case if they do, I will accept it, as well, if they don’t play as well as they want. I’m accepting all major credit cards and unforced errors.”
Williams shares an anniversary with Arthur Ashe Stadium, it was her first US Open and she had a chance to play the first night match.
She spoke about the man the stadium is named after. “He’s a total legend. He played during a time where he couldn’t just focus on the tennis. I’m very blessed to be able to focus on my game. But he had to fight because of the color of his skin. It was a complete different time. So I can’t even imagine the pressure he was under during that time.
“To come out of it with grace, as a champion, it’s incredible.”
Williams will play Petra Kvitova who defeated third seed Garbine Muguruza in the night match 7-6(3), 6-3.
“What she’s gone through is unimaginable, unreasonable,” Williams said in regard to her Czech opponent in the upcoming quarterfinal. The world we live in is just shocking. So for her, I think to be playing well is such a blessing. To be able to come out here and do what she needs to do, to clear her head, it’s such a beautiful thing to see.
“What else can I say except I’m glad to see her back.”
Nine months ago, Kvitova did not know if she wold ever be able to hold a racquet again, much less play again after an intruder stabbed her left hand. Now she’s in the final 8 of the US Open.
“I came here without any expectations,” Kvitova said.
Muguruza jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first set, only to see Kvitova come back. They moved into the tiebreaker where the Spaniard took a 2-0 lead, and the Czech came back, yet again. A double fault gave Kvitova three set points, she only needed one and took the tiebreak 7-3.
Muguruza broke serve to open the third set, and Kivtova reciprocated with a break of her own and easily controlled her serving games, jumping up to a 5-2 lead and closing the match 7-6, 6-3.
“I think she was serving very good today,” Muguruza said. “She finds in the key moments big serves. It is complicated when she hits lots of aces, or just strong serves.”
“I think it’s incredible that she’s playing at this level. I’m not really familiar about what really happened. I know, of course, what happened, that she got attack(ed) and stuff. I think she’s playing very well. So I don’t feel she has changed.
“She was playing good, a lot of winners. She was playing very good with the forehand today, moving well, as well. Pretty good performance from her.”
“I feel great obviously, of course,” Kvitova said in her news conference. “I was happy that I was managed to win the match. Over the last couple of points, I got a little bit tight. You can just dream about, but when you there, it’s just different. It’s about experience again.
“Was great fight. I mean, I struggle a little bit from the beginning. I was little bit probably, you know, rushing from the beginning, so I just need to really try be a little bit more calm, play some rallies.
“It wasn’t really nice when I couldn’t serve the set. That was really big game from my side 6-5. Didn’t start well in the tiebreak as well. I was glad I was just trying to stay in the rallies.”
Kvitova will be playing Venus Williams, with whom she has had some classic matches.
“I think that she’s playing amazing on the majors this year, Kvitova said. “I mean, she is really playing very, very well on the big stages. She played the final of the Wimbledon. She’s a champion. It’s what we all know.
“Will be a great match for me to step on the Ashe again probably and play there. I mean, we always had a tough battles. But I will try my best. I mean, she has a big serve, big server of course. She has something special which the other players doesn’t have. That’s what I will try to play again probably, similar game as today.”