How would it feel when your elder sibling who was once considered your equal on the court, who once was very much your equal in the record books just vanished into thin air from the world of tennis all of a sudden?
And how would it feel to know that the same person happened to be in your way en route to a calendar Grand Slam? Well, these along with many more are the thoughts that younger sister Serena will be filled with hours ahead of her quarter-final match against Venus.
Serena breezed to the quarters with an easy win over fellow American Madison Keys in straight sets, much as she has in quite a while now in the Women’s singles’ circle. This was Serena’s 32nd consecutive Grand Slam singles match win, the first of which was back in last year’s USO, and her 25th straight in 2015.
Venus, 35, beat a very talented 18 year-old No. 12-seeded Belinda Bencic, of Switzerland, 6-3, 6-4, who happens to be born the very same year Venus played her first Open. Bencic recently defeated Serena at Toronto, and was favored by many to defeat the 35-year old and reach the quarters.
Venus has been in a perpetual struggle with the fatigue and other symptoms of the chronic autoimmune disease Sjogren’s syndrome which has led to her being out of the professional circuit for a considerable amount of time. Also, her life has been very sister-centric lately and she has spent a major amount of time at press conferences, answering questions about her sister.
Yet, it cannot be said that Serena’s winning record has got her eyes off the ball.
“It’s easy,” Venus said. “I have to go to practice, and I have to get it in. When I play my match, I can’t think about anything else except what I’m doing on my side of the net.”
In 26 career meetings between the Williams sisters, Serena holds a 15-11 record. While the elder sister won the first encounter at the 1998 Australian Open, Serena took the most recent match in the fourth round at Wimbledon.
In her on-court interview, Venus was asked about her rivalry with Serena.
“It’s been awesome,” Venus said. “I’m so proud of Serena, and I think she’s proud of me. We inspire each other.”
The last time Venus defeated Serena was at the Rogers Cup in Montreal last year. Venus won four of their first five matches. Serena has won six of the last seven. While the odds lie totally in Serena’s favor, one cannot undermine Venus’ new found adeptness on court.
Serena has only spent four hours and 59 minutes on court in her four matches and has a marked advantage when it comes to form leading into the USO. Venus will have to play out of her skin if she wishes to cause perhaps the biggest upset of this year’s event at the Flushing Meadows. While the 15-11 record is in Serena’s favor, you just cannot count the 7-time Grand Slam winner out.
Comment Courtesy: ESPN