Venus Williams Eclipses Petra Kvitova in Tight Three-Set Classic To Reach Third Major Semifinal of the Year
(September 5, 2017) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – For 37-year-old Venus Williams, age is just a number. The veteran who has seven major titles, defeated two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(2) in a epic the 2-hour, 34-minute battle to reach the US Open semifinals for a seventh time of her career. Williams rallied from 1-3 down in the final set. She is now the oldest woman in the semifinals since Martina Navratilova in 1994.
The win vaults her back in the top 5, a place she hasn’t been since 2010. She won the US Open in 2000 and 2001.
This will be her third major semifinal of the year – she reached the finals of the Australian Open and Wimbledon, losing both.
She is now 2-4 against Kvitova, with all matches going the full three sets.
“If you can imagine the quality of this match was high, I would say the others were even higher. A lot of times in those matches I just felt a little unlucky. Like she would hit these amazing shots out of nowhere, and all I could do was say, Well done. I never really did anything wrong in those matches.
“Sometimes you have opportunities and sometimes you take them and you don’t, but it’s not like you get opportunity after opportunity after opportunity in these sorts of matches. You have to take the ones you have.
“I was happy to have a little more luck today, actually.”
“There have been times where I have won these and there have been times I didn’t win them. My opponent was better. It made me go out and work harder. Either way, the experience makes you grow.
“Quite obviously I’d love to win these all the time. It’s such a wonderful feeling, because you put in so much work to be able to succeed at these moments.”
Kvitova said to media: “It wasn’t enough, right? Well, what can I say? I feel very tired right now. Of course, as a loser, it’s more tiring than as a winner.
“But it was pretty close, pretty intense, I think, the last couple of games in the third set. It was just about a few points, and yeah, I mean, she played very well in the tiebreak. She held her serves, 5-4 and 6-5, which I think was very important for her, not good for me.
“But I believe I had my chances in the tiebreak, but I think that she played pretty well, the tiebreak.
“I think it was a good chance for both of us. Of course I’m not sitting here as the happiest person in the room, but that’s how it is.”
“When we came to the third set, I was like, okay, three-setter again. But I have no idea. I think that both of us, you know, know that we can play well. We can play well against each other. I think always kind of these matches are showing the best from us.”
“I have to say, I felt every single one of you guys behind me…. all 23,000,” Williams told the crowd after the match. “I mean, that feels good. It feels amazing. And I didn’t want to let you guys down.”
Asked about the rise of American women at the US Open, she credited her sister Serena.
With the roof closed in the second set due to some light rain, the loud partisan cheers that Williams received from the spectators became every more thunderous.
Just nine months ago Kvitova, the13th seed, was the victim of a knife attack in her home. It was not known if she would ever be able to use her left hand properly again, much less play tennis. She had surgery and returned to the tour for the French Open. She still does not have full strength in that hand.
“First of all, everything that she’s gone through, to go through that is unbelievable, and you don’t imagine that you’re going to wake up one day and that’s going to happen,” Williams said. “So it’s so wonderful to see her back and playing amazing.”
Back in 2011, Venus Williams was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder which caused fatigue among other symptoms.
“Yeah, at the time, the frame of mind is as an athlete and as myself, I don’t accept limitations,” she said about her disorder. “So it took a while to accept some limitations.
“But it doesn’t mean that the glass is half empty. I saw it as half full. Whatever I had, I had to do the best I could with that and to be the strongest that I could and be reprehensible for each and every shot that I hit.
“That’s how I saw these last six years.”
“Yeah, definitely felt like a special match,” Williams said to media. “No easy moments, not easy to hold serve or break serve. This match meant a lot to me, obviously, playing at home and of course it being a major.
“It means a lot to her, you know, coming back and being able to compete in this major and to prove obviously to herself that, you know, she could defeat anything no matter what’s thrown at her. It was amazing to see her shine today.”
Kvitova was asked if Williams can win two more matches to win the title, she replied: ” I think she can. I hope so, actually .”
Williams will play another American in Sloane Stephens for a place in the final. Stephens won a three-set battle of her won by the same score.
“I have to focus on what’s happening on my side of the court,” Williams said about her next match. “Make evaluations out there when I’m out there in terms of strategy and see what’s working.”
More to follow…..