Serena Williams, Treated for Right Ankle, Moves into Quarterfinals; Johanna Konta Takes Down Third Seed Karolina Pliskova,
Elina Svitolina beats 2017 Finalist Madison Keys
(September 1, 2019) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Serena Williams rolled her ankle in the second set, but still completed a straight set win over 22nd seed Petra Martic 6-3, 6-4 in the second day session match in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday at the US Open. It’s her 99th match win at the US Open.
For the 8th seed Williams, she’s reached the quarterfinals of the US open for the 11th straight time. It’s her 19th appearance at the US Open. She’s a six-time winner at Flushing Meadows.
Williams rolled her right ankle in the second set. “I just rolled it, I don’t know why” she said. I was volleying and it just went over, so it was a little frustrating,”
Asked about it in her news conference, she said,” I feel fine right now physically, and obviously my state is super intense. I’m always incredibly intense. Just trying to keep moving forward.”
“Ankle, I usually know if it’s horrible early on. I mean, I had a really bad ankle sprain in January. I was like, instantly, No, this can’t happen. I’m finally healthy.
“But I’ll see tomorrow. So far I’m good. I have been managing it. We’ll see tomorrow.”
Serena injured her ankle during a quarterfinal match against Karolina Pliskova up 5-1 in the final set, rolled her ankle did not seek treatment and lost the next 6 games to lose the match, failing to covert multiple match points.
“I feel like in this tournament, I guess, I have definitely turned a different zone,” Williams said in comparing her mentality coming back last year to this year. “I’m not sure if I can articulate what zone that is. But it’s not about kind, it’s not to myself, it’s not about anything in particular. It’s definitely something different, though.”
“Every single match I have played, people come and they plan their best. The women that I play are not generally playing at this level against other players in the locker room, so for me, I have to be the greatest whether it’s against the second seed, the No. 1 seed, or the No. 80th player in the world. I have to show up or else I’m going to go home,” Serena added.
Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou held his own news conference right after Serena’s and was asked about Serena’s comeback and her tournament in general.
“Concerns, no, not at all, ” he said. “As I said before the tournament, I felt she was getting better and better. I explained that, and I’m going to say the same, sorry, but I think it’s important that she’s coming back from being a mother. You can’t come back in the same shape as before in a few months. It takes time. I never had a baby, but probably some of you had here. A lot of men, so probably not.
“Okay. You know it’s a big thing, a big transformation for the body. It’s also a new responsibility, so I think it takes time to come back to the person you were before, especially physically for a top athlete.
“She was able to still to reach three Grand Slam finals, which I think was really an incredible effort. But I said that, and I feel that time works for her, and I know it can sound strange because she’s not very young, but still I think so for the reasons I just explained. So I feel she’s moving better now than she was a few months ago. She also was injured a lot.
“Before the tournament, I felt she was ready, and what I saw the first week, I didn’t see only great performances. Some matches were tough. The match against Caty McNally was difficult, I think, also because Caty played really well and put a lot of pressure on Serena with a game that is quite unusual.
“It’s not easy to feel comfortable playing players who play that type of game, because you’re just not used to it. But she found a way to win, ended up the match quite well, and I think the level is rising.
“I was very happy with today’s match and also with the previous one, actually. I have no concerns at all. I’m quite happy.”
Williams will take on Wang Qiang, who upset No. 2 seed Ashleigh Barty.
No. 16 seed Johanna Konta rallied form a set and a break down to topple third seed Karolina Pliskova 6-7(1), 6-3, 7-5 and reach her first-ever US Open quarterfinal. She’s the first British woman to make the elite 8 at the US Open since Jo Durie did it in 1983.
Konta came into the match with a 1-6 record against the Czech. “I mean, obviously my record shows that I find it difficult to play against Karolina,” Note Konta. “I’m just pleased I was able to, yeah, basically just find a way and enjoy being out there, knowing that, you know, nothing was for certain. I could have lost that match just as easily as I would have won it.”
Konta was serving for the first set at 5-3, but couldn’t serve it out.
“I mean, I think it’s part of the game to sometimes not be able to serve a set out,” Konta said. “It’s part of the game to go down a break and come back. Equally for her, she could have taken a lot of confidence from being able to come back from 5-3 down, going a break up in that second set.
“I mean, I think I didn’t really get discouraged by it. I was playing against, I think she’s No. 3 in the world right now, I’m playing against the No. 3 player in the world. Nothing is going to be given to me or be easy.
“Being 5-3 up is by no means a guarantee that it’s my right to win that set. I just have to keep working. I felt I did that in that second set, as well, even going a break down.”
“I would not say I lost my rhythm,” said Pliskova. “I just maybe didn’t play couple games the way I should. Maybe didn’t serve that well in the middle of the second set.
“I know she can play well, I know she can miss a lot. That’s what was happening a little bit on and off this match.
“But I think overall the important moments, she was always up in the third set and she always played great game. She was serving great. There was not much what I could do.”
Konta will play the winner of the Madison Keys- Elina Svitolina fourth round match,
The British woman talked about her possible opponents:
“Against Elina, as well, she’s a tough player for me to play. I’ve had a lot of difficulty against her, as well. Equally so, I mean, she’s incredibly tenacious. She’s a tremendous competitor. I would be going out there anticipating it to be a tough match, anticipating for her to be there from the very beginning to the very end. Just really looking to compete well against her on the day.”
“I mean, she’s an incredible player. She’s got a massive game. I mean, she’s got tremendous power behind her ball, and her ability to really just play big, similar to Karolina in a way, some other players.
“I mean, there would be times where I wouldn’t have much to say in the match. That’s something that you have to learn to tolerate and just accept. So I think, yeah, having good acceptance against that, just really looking for any opportunity that I would get to implement my way of playing.”
Konta will be facing Svitolina who beat 10th seed Madison Keys 7-5, 6-4 in the night session.
“It was really good performance from me,” said Svitolina, who reached the final eight of the US Open for the first time in her career. “Very solid, I would say, from the beginning until the end.
“Yeah, I was feeling very good today physically, which helps my game, obviously. Yeah, it’s something that, yeah, very special for me to play in front of so many people. Night session in New York is always very special. To get a win is a special feeling.”
“I feel like I didn’t play my best tennis today,” Keys said in her news conference. “I think luckily I was able to still serve pretty well and stay in the match and still kind of give myself some chances.
“I don’t think I returned well. I mean, that was pretty obvious. I think I only won five return points. So it’s tough to win a match when that’s going on.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s hard to win a match when you’re not making a lot of returns and being able to even put any pressure on her serve.”
“I think generally I was serving very good today,” said the No, 5 seed. “I was changing the pace, I was changing the placement very good. All the important points at the beginning gave me the confidence after to be more aggressive with my serve.
“Yeah, it’s a little bit of everything. I think I served well, and then maybe, I don’t know, she didn’t feel maybe the return so well tonight. Yeah, I was happy the way I handled my service games.”