Serena Williams Marked her “happy hundredth” win at the Ashe stadium as she fought off a comeback attempt from Maria Sakkari 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3 on Monday for a place in the US Open quarter-finals.

The 38-year-old was taking little notice of her minor achievement: “I don’t think about it, to be honest. We’re just playing. We’re having fun,” she said adding she feels “match fit and ‘fit fit.'” 

Williams, a six-time winner of her home Grand Slam but loser in her last four finals at the majors, is working to try and reach a record 24 singles titles at the Slams.

Serena Williams celebrates victory Photo Darren Carroll / USTA

Her last title success at this level came in Australia more than three and a half years ago.

“I was able to compete longer,” Williams said of her winning result. “I was a little fatigued last time and had some cramps.

“I felt like Maria almost played better today. She’s such a good competitor. It was a really intense match.”

Sakkari was forced to struggle for success in the second set, after dropping the first, with the Greek finally levelling the match at a set each on her fifth set point.

Maria Sakkari Photo USTA

She began the deciding set with a break of her American opponent, but lost it in the fourth game as Williams stormed back to make it 2-2

That was margin enough for Williams, who moved into winning position, serving for victory 5-3.

Sakkari saved a first match point with a pass but was caught out as she stretched for a return sent deep into her corner of the court, sending the ball into the net to end it after more than two and a half hours.

Tsvetana Pironkova moved ahead as she beat France’s Alize Cornet 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3.

Tsvetana Pironkova beating Alize Cornet today Photo USTA

The Bulgarian winner Pironkova beat 10th seed Garbine Muguruza and No.18 Donna Vekic last week after having lost her previous six Slam meetings against seeded players.

She last played Cornet nearly a decade ago after first meeting in 2007 on court.


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