S WILLIAMS (US) bt V WILLIAMS (US)
7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (9-7)
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0410: I make that eight set points wasted by Venus and boy did her sister Serena capitalise! Poor Venus, try as she might, simply could not close out either set and she was made to pay with a 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (9-7) defeat.
Serena has her revenge after going down to Venus at Wimbledon and will now go on to play French Open finalist Dinara Safina for a place in the final.
Now that was tennis at it's very best. Goodbye.
Serena 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (9-7) Venus
Venus holds and then forced consecutive mini-breaks to surge into a 3-0 lead. Serena, drenched in sweat, looks like she's spent. But then Venus levels up the double fault stakes at 5-5. The latest nail-biting rally end when Serena goes long and does the splits and we're at 4-1 to Venus.
Serena batters her way to one hold but, after the most sensational point I've seen all tournament with Venus dictating and Serena chasing left, right and centre, she suffers another mini-break.
With all the time in the world, Venus goes long coming into the net and it's 5-3 to the 28-year-old. A net-cord-assisted cross-court pass gives Venus set point number five and it's there for the taking until a lobbed retrieve from Serena lands on the baseline and Venus soon fires wide.
A sixth set point goes begging as Venus guides another forehand into the tramlines and, with a seventh set point on serve, she smashes an overhead wide.
This drama is unbearable...
Venus challenges a long ball from Serena successfully to gain another set point but Serena shows a deft touch at the net to level at 7-7. Venus is an absolute wreck and goes long to hand Serena match point. I've never seen drama in a women's game like this. Serena is Miss Courageous.
Another world class rally ends with Venus going long and Venus challenging. But she's unsuccessful and SERENA WILLIAMS IS INTO THE SEMI FINALS. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.
Serena 7-6 (8-6) 6-6 Venus
This is a funny old match. Serena opens with her fifth double fault of the match but evens at 15-15. The out-of-sorts Venus then conjures an unbelievable cross-court forehand winner from the baseline and battles her way to another set point, her fourth of the set.
Serena saves when Venus goes long and really starts pumping her right fist but when Venus then comes into the net on Serena's advantage, the younger sister can only net. An unreturnable serve puts Serena in control and then, needing to execute a straightforward drive to win the game, she nets.
A superb rally sees Venus repeatedly blocking attempted passes from Serena until one is hit so hard at her that she can only divert it into the net. Serena goes wide, Venus goes long and then, just when you though Serena would end the matter, Venus fires a venomous forehand winner, much to the crowd's delight.
Serena aces her sister and then, finally, finally, finally, Venus goes long and we have our second tie-break of the match.
Serena 7-6 (8-6) 5-6 Venus
For Venus' sake, thank heavens the double faults from the first set have dried up because she is being outplayed in rallies and appears at sixes and sevens. Venus sends down an ace to go to 15-0 but allows Serena back in with some nervy groundstrokes from the baseline.
So long has it been since Venus came charging in aggressively that it comes as a pretty big surprise when she does just that to seal the game, firing an unstoppable high forehand volley past her sis. Serena serving to stay in the set.
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Serena 7-6 (8-6) 5-5 Venus
Make no mistake about it, the momentum has swung back to Serena. Are you getting as dizzy as me? This topsy-turvy match continues to surprise and enthral. Venus, head down, fails to cope as Serena follows up a couple of booming forehands by coming to the net. Venus then goes long to hand Serena the game. Exciting times.
Serena 7-6 (8-6) 4-5 Venus
Goodness me. These girls really don't make life easy for themselves do they. Venus looks calm as you like, dominating Serena from the baseline to go 40-15 up. Don't ask me how but the 28-year-old contrives to squander three set points - remember she wasted two in the first set tie-break - and then is broken. Serena earns advantage and Venus looks for the tried and tested cross-court forehand but pushes it wide. Venus challenges the call but doesn't have a prayer.
It's break back time folks. Deja-vu or what. Is Serena going to come back from the dead for a second time to take the match and a place in the last four? Glad I'm not a betting man!
Serena 7-6 (8-6) 3-5 Venus
It's a relatively cooler night in New York compared to previous night at this year's US Open but the standard of tennis remains red hot. Serena digs deep into her reserves of grit once more and takes her sister on in a war of attrition.
The momentum may have slipped from her grasp and we may be heading for a third set, but Serena shows she still has lots to offer. The 26-year-old comes into the net, then unleashes a few bullets from the baseline, then comes in again before Venus ends a memorable rally by firing into the tramlines.
All the same, it's time for Venus to serve for the set...now where have we heard that one before?
Serena 7-6 (8-6) 2-5 Venus
In the blink of an eye it's 5-2 to Venus. Serena, to her credit, battled really hard to take the game to deuce. But, in an energy-sapping set, she seems a little exhausted and her variety of earlier has all-but disappeared. Venus comes through for a very important for and now is one game away from taking us into a decider.
Serena 7-6 (8-6) 2-4 Venus
Just as we thought, Serena really is beginning to struggle in the face of some mightily aggressive tennis from Venus. Young Serena is off the ball and Venus capitalises to take what might just prove a crucial break.
Talking on big pants (see 0305) do you remember our friend Tatiana Golovin at Wimbledon two years ago? I was there to see her and her red pants and even interviewed her about them. Anyway, enough of that. Back to the tennis...
Serena 7-6 (8-6) 2-3 Venus
Phew, I was proved right. Venus saunters to 40-0 and, although Serena gets one point back, the elder Williams serves out with consummate ease. Is Serena on the ropes physically? This next game might well prove pivotal.
Serena 7-6 (8-6) 2-2 Venus
It's just as well that Serena is concentrating on her serve because Venus is pushing her to the limit. Venus takes the game to deuce and it requires some power-packed serving to see Serena through. Venus needs to keep ahead and, judging by the energy that game took out of Serena, she shouldn't have too many problems on serve. (Setting myself up for a fall or what!)
0305: "Not sure about venus' big pink pants under the black dress... Serena definitely the best dressed but Venus to win"
A jet lagged Dan via text on 81111
Where have you been away, Dan? Anywhere nice?
Serena 7-6 (8-6) 1-2 Venus
A surprising lack of movement from Serena allows Venus to coast through that one. Serena just didn't seem with it. Perhaps she's focusing on her serve at the moment, which is fair enough as it wasn't until late in the first set that she pounced. "Get you're own house in order first before you attack another's," she may be thinking.
P.S. My sources tell me that actress Kim Cattrall and moneybags Donald Trump, who is America's version on Sir Alan Sugar on The Apprentice, are in the Arthur Ashe house. A start-studded event.
Serena 7-6 (8-6) 1-1 Venus
It looks as though Venus is on for a repeat of her early break in the first set when she races to 0-30 by sending her sister scampering all over the Arthur Ashe. But whereas Serena might have crumbled earlier, she showed all of her new-found versatility and long-held doggedness to fight her way back into the game from both baseline and at the net. She levels things up and deservedly so. Well played, young lady.
Serena 7-6 (8-6) 0-1 Venus
An unforced error apiece takes us to 15-15 but when Venus gets her forehand right, let's face it, it ain't coming back. A couple of rasping groundstrokes tie up the game and it's now Serena's job to respond.
Did you know...Serena's US Open record reads played 51, won 44, lost seven. Venus's reads played 58, won 51, lost seven. Now that is what I call outstanding.
0247: Wow, I can't say I saw that coming, especially when Venus got the early break. Can Serena keep this up? This is going to be some second set me thinks.
Serena 7-6 (8-6) Venus
I honestly have never seen a player on the women's Tour get into the net as quickly and effectively as Venus. Serena comes up with one immense passing shot but that is just to avoid suffering a second mini-break. Venus nets on serve to level things up but she then punishes Serena for coming into the net with an easy pass, as if to say: "Don't play me at my own game".
Serena hangs on in there but is a picture - and ear-piercing sound of - distress when she goes long to hand Venus set point. Man, that girl can scream for America. Serena's aggression put Venus onto her heels and she nets and then the younger sister saves another set point with a timely ace.
The girls change ends on opposite sides of the court - a tiff, maybe? - and Serena comes out blazing. She serve-volley's her way to set point and takes it when Venus opens up and goes wide with a cross-court forehand drive.
Serena 6-6 Venus
Cool, calm and collected, Venus keeps pretty much every ball in court, as if to say to Serena: "well, I'm gunna let you make the mistakes". Serena obliges by going long and then into the net tamely to take us to a tie-break.
This is the girls' fourth US Open meeting and currently Venus leads the head-to-head 2-1. Who are you tipping to prevails?
Serena 6-5 Venus
For the first time in the opening set Serena leads. Although there I was singing her praises and along comes Venus to earn break point. Shows how much I know! Serena saved well, though, and came through strongly.
All of a sudden the pressure is on older sister Venus, serving to stay in the set and take it to a tie-break.
Oh and by the way, I came along a remarkable stat earlier. Coming into this match Serena had dropped just 14 games all tournament, while Venus had let go only 15. These girls are more than a bit special.
Serena 5-5 Venus
Whether she is on or off her game, Serena possesses reserves of grit and determination like no other girl on the tour and she really digs in to break back. Coming to the net to go 0-15, Venus is hardly given a sniff from there on in. A combination of power and variety pays off for Serena, who breaks to 15 and has the momentum with her now. Whoever said clashes between the Williams sisters were boring?
Serena 4-5 Venus
"Though shall not pass," was the message written all over Serena's face as she came into the net and volleyed a winner into open court. The near-capacity crowd on Arthur Ashe is loving this but one member of the assembled audience gets over-excited and decides to yell, 'come on Venus' just as Serena tosses the ball up at 30-15. She doubles faults as a result and the pressure is on. But an ace follows and the 26-year-old comes through. You didn't think she was going to relinquish her serve that easily did you?
Venus to serve for the set.
"With the Murray match over its nice 2 have a match i can just be neutral and enjoy for the tennis. Hope this goes the distance."
Ryan in Nottingham via text on 81111
Well said, Ryan. Who are you tipping to come through in the sister act then? And more to the point what are you doing up at such a crazy hour?!
Serena 3-5 Venus
The game gets off to a bad start for Venus when she pushes a backhand into the tramlines and she soon finds herself at 15-30. With the break back within sight, Serena nets at a crucial time and then Venus powers a delicious forehand past her younger sister. Serena engineers an advantage by passing Venus at the net but Venus then absolutely leathers another forehand to leave Serena almost doing the splits and screaming expletives. This is tremendous entertainment folks.
Serena 3-4 Venus
...which she does with aplomb. An aggressive Serena is pretty hard to suppress and eight Grand Slam titles would suggest as much. She is now looking comfortable on serve after the early break and will surely now look to level things up.
Serena 2-4 Venus
Venus races to 40-0 on serve. Serena really isn't moving to great out there and look extremely frustrated at herself. The world number three lets her anger out on the ball by coming to the net and volley two winners but then goes long to hand Venus the game.
Serena is becoming amazingly vocal but it is important she keeps calm and concentrates on holding her serve now.
Serena 2-3 Venus
When Serena makes her first serve she tends to win the point in question. If only she made it more often! A bit of a sloppy game from the younger sister but she power her way through the game to keep tabs on Venus.
Venus, 28, and Serena, 26, are meeting for the 17th time - a stat I should really have mentioned earlier. The head-to-head record is 8-8 so this match is pretty important for both girls.
Serena 1-3 Venus
Venus had better sort out her serve or else this could turn into a long, long evening for her. She served another two double faults to take her tally to four, but was spared a break back by her willingness to come to the net, not to mention a sumptuous ace to serve out the game. Venus's variety in rallies is a joy to watch.
The 2000 and 2001 champion has been hinting this fortnight that she is playing the best tennis of her career. I'd like to know what you think? I'd be inclined to agree.
Serena 1-2 Venus
Ok, let's not read too much into this but Venus has just broken Serena pretty comfortably. Admittedly, she is aided by a net cord on break point but it is clear that Serena is trying to mix things up and that plan isn't really working. So the seventh seed strikes first.
As always, it would be fantastic to read all of your comments and musings. With 606 closed it's time to get tapping away on your mobile devices and text TENNIS followed by you message to 81111.
Serena 1-1 Venus
Talking about the importance of serving today, Venus sends down two double faults and is taken to deuce in her first service games. But as we saw at the All England Club a couple of months ago, Serena struggles to handle Venus when she finds her rhythm from the baseline. And so it proves as the older sister levels things up.
Serena 1-0 Venus
A lovely start from fourth seed Serena. After the painful defeat to her sister in the Wimbledon final, Serena knows she has no choice but to get her serve right today and mix up her game a little. She concedes two points but then serves out with a booming ace.
0138: So here we go. Serena to serve first. For those of you interested in tennis fashion, Serena is sporting an all-in-one red number, while Venus is dressed in a neat black outfit.
0128: Take a deep breath, ladies and gentlemen. Because hot off the heels of Andy Murray's epic victory over Juan Martin del Potro, we have another potentially mouth-watering clash to feast over.
Sister Serena and Venus Williams meet for a place in the women's semi-finals.