Tennis  

Pliskova terminates Williams sisters’ dream match

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05: Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic returns a shot to Venus Williams of the United States during her fourth round Women's Singles match on Day Eight of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Mike Hewitt/Getty Images/AFP Mike Hewitt / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 05: Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic returns a shot to Venus Williams of the United States during her fourth round Women’s Singles match on Day Eight of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Mike Hewitt/Getty Images/AFP<br />Mike Hewitt / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic survived a match point in the second set and proceeded to overcome the sixth-seeded Venus Williams 4/6; 6/4; 7/6 in a long battle over three hours and 30 minutes. With that upset victory, she terminated an anticipated match-up of the Williams sisters in the semifinal round. Baby sister, Serena, maintained her part of the deal by dismissing Yaroslava Shvedova, in straight sets to enter another chapter in the history books of tennis.

Venus had a shot at victory in her battle with Pliskova. She won the first set, 6-4; although it could have ended much earlier as she had a 4-1 lead. Her opponent took the second set. In the decisive third set, it was a roller coaster affair. Pliskova got up to a 4-2 lead but Venus fought back and won three straight games, and a break opportunity that was match point. The Czech player survived the threat and took the 11th game on Venus service.

Serving for the match, she was up 40-0 and match points. But a fateful double fault got Venus into the door and she delivered four consecutive winners to clinch game and enter the tie-break. Pliskova got the better part of the last stretch and had match point at 6-3. She claimed it and the upset over Venus Williams.

On the other hand, Serena defeated her opponent to attain a career high 308 Grand Slam match victories. The story of Serena and sister was told even before the younger sister turned professional. Their father Richard already predicted that Serena was sounder technically and had a meaner streak. The years have proven him right, health permitting. Serena won her first Grand Slam title in the 1999 US Open, a victory that got her a call (immediately after the last ball as struck) from President Bill Clinton.

Then she became the fourth youngest player to win the event. She has also become the second oldest. She has won six titles in New York, to tie Chris Evert. At the 2016 Wimbledon, she tied German Steffi Graff’s 22 career Grand Slam Titles. There are just not enough superlatives for Serena Williams, who will face Simona Halep of Romania in the quarter-finals.

The future of the Women’s game got a shining star, when Ana Konjuh defeated fourth seeded Agnieszka Radwanka 6/4; 6/4, in a match where she delivered 38 winners from both left and right. She was the winner of the Junior Girls’ Tournament at the 2013 US Open Championships and was already penciled for great things.



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