Venus Williams beats Petra Kvitova to seal semi-final berth

Kvitova eliminated Spanish third seed and two-time Slam victor Garbine Muguruza 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 while Williams beat 35th-ranked Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.

The 24-year-old was unable to walk after undergoing surgery in January but has hit a remarkable hot streak, making the last four at three successive tournaments.

“I just asked my PR manager if I do have a chance for Zhuhai”, she said on Tuesday night.

“After this great run here, I hope it will be a little bit easier for me to breathe and play well, and no expectation again”, said Kvitova.

For a player who had taken six weeks off in 2015 as she struggled for motivation, there were naturally questions about whether she would want to come back, even if she could. But it was very good at times.

But can she fight off American powerhouse CoCo Vandeweghe, a player that is firing all cylinders in NY? It’s been a remarkable run for Stephens, who had to miss almost a full 52 weeks with a left foot injury that was surgically repaired this winter. She fought as she never used to fight.

“I don’t know how to explain my longevity”, said Williams. “I think she’s playing very well”.

Williams didn’t overwhelm Kvitova with her serve but instead relied on a timely performance in the tiebreak in what was an evenly matched contest.

Still, this is America’s Slam. It’s there, which I’m really, really appreciative for that.

The tennis was superb, as it has so often been when these two power players have met before.

Up a set but down 0-3 in the second, the roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium was closed because of some expected thunderstorms.

“She has a great timing and a lot of power”. I mean, she has a big serve.

Like Williams, Stephens had to do it the hard way, coming from 3-1 down in the final set to defeat Maria Sharapova’s conqueror Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7/4).

“That’s why probably I am playing more relaxed and more free, maybe”.

‘It’s incredible, amazing, ‘ she said. “I’m so fortunate to have won that match”, said Williams.

Williams told the fans: “I felt every single one of you behind me, all 23,000”. You got to take it. Sloane Stephens and Venus Williams will reportedly face off in the global tennis match, and they’re giving us all the #BlackGirlMagic we need. She made the final, losing to Martina Hingis. Her 2017 Grand Slams: final (Australian Open), fourth round (at the French, historically her toughest task), final (Wimbledon) and quarterfinal (here). The Estonian reached her sixth Grand Slam quarterfinal with a dominating victory over Daria Kasatkina on Monday.

There was a break apiece as the match fittingly went to a tie-break, where a double fault and a stray shot sent Williams through to the semis at the year’s final grand slam.

Venus last won a Major in 2008.

But winning in NY, at 37? “Before, obviously, I was playing well. I hope so, actually”, Kvitova said, smiling. If you’re down, you keep going. Williams has spent over 20 years on the tour, during which time she has suffered numerous injuries, the tragic death of her sister Yetunde and in 2011, a diagnosis of the autoimmune disease, Sjögren’s Syndrome, that sapped her of her strength. “I didn’t know how the journey would end”. Tomorrow, Coco Vandeweghe will take on Pliskova and Keys will face Kanepi to see whether the American dream can continue.

Venus Williams celebrates her win over Carla Suarez Navarro