NEW YORK – Serena Williams reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal of the year with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Kaia Kenepi at the U.S. Open on Monday, keeping her hopes alive for a third straight Flushing Meadows crown.
Williams, who lost in the fourth round of the Australian Open, the second round of the French Open and third round of Wimbledon, said she felt the pressure of getting to the quarters in New York.
“I finally made a quarterfinal this year!” Williams said in her on-court interview, raising her hands to the cheers of the crowd in Arthur Ashe Stadium. “I think I felt it in my service game. I’m like, ‘Can I please make it to a Grand Slam quarters this year?’ ”
Williams next plays 11th-seeded Flavia Pennetta, a 7-5, 6-2 winner over 29th-seeded Casey Dellacqua.
Murray outlasts Tsonga
Andy Murray pulled out the sort of tough win he had been missing this year, beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three long sets in the fourth round.
The eighth-seeded Murray needed 2 hours, 35 minutes to defeat the ninth-seeded Frenchman 7-5, 7-5, 6-4 on a hot, humid afternoon.
Tsonga had three break points to go up 3-0 in the final set, but Murray fought them off to swing the momentum. He promptly broke in the next game to get the set back on serve, and then closed out the match with another break.
“The first two sets were very long, tough sets, mentally very draining,” Murray said in an on-court interview. “Glad to get through.”
Djokovic reaches quarters
Playing mostly mistake-free tennis, top-seeded Novak Djokovic reached the quarterfinals for the eighth year in a row – and at a 22nd consecutive Grand Slam tournament overall.
Djokovic, the 2011 champion at Flushing Meadows, made only 19 unforced errors, saved both break points he faced, and breezed past 22nd-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-1, 7-5, 6-4.
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