After defeating her sister, best friend and ultimate rival Venus Williams in one of the last matches the two sisters will play against each other in major competition, Serena Williams topped Kaia Kanepi, sweeping the Estonian in the first set of their Round of 16 matchup, 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals on Sunday.
SI Tennis on Twitter
Serena to the quarters! The No. 17 seed beats Kaia Kanepi, who beat Simona Halep in the first round, 6-0, 4-6, 6-3. Next up: No. 8 Karolina Pliskova #USOpen2018
Serena has been on a string of dominance longer than the weaves on the Real Housewives of Atlanta, so the fact that the icon actually lost a set for the first time this tournament is a credit to Kanepi’s performance. Kanepi was looking for another entry in the history books by defeating Williams, after becoming the first player in U.S. Open history to upset the top seed in the first round, beating Simona Halep.
It wasnt an easy match at all, Williams said after the match. Shes had a lot of big wins in her career . I was just happy to get through it to be honest.
Unfortunately, for tremendous tennis players such as Kanepi and Venus Williams, their storylines are just footnotes in the book of legend that Serena has crafted throughout her career and simply stepping stones as she marches towards immortality and her 24th Grand Slam singles title, which would tie Margaret Court for the most Grand Slam singles titles in tennis history.
Just Do It: Serena Williams
It’s only a crazy dream until you do it. #justdoit https://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/tennis
If the inevitable occurs and Serena wins the U.S. Open after missing it in 2017 due to her pregnancy, the dub will be another notch in Serenas incomparable belt of resilience, giving her a total of 40th Grand Slam titles overall between singles, doubles and mixed doubles.
While there isnt an accolade that Serena hasnt snatched in her illustrious two-decade journey, there are myriad inspirations and motivations that the 36-year old tennis goddess, brand ambassador, social icon and exemplary mom still uses to cut the court up like DJ Scratch on an EPMD song back in the 90s.
Williams moves on to play No. 8 seed Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals. The 17th-seeded Williams lost to Pliskova at the U.S. Open in the 2016 semifinals in their only encounter. I didnt do the math, but its safe to say that Williams doesnt have a losing record against too many tennis players. Evening the score with the young Czech is definitely motivating Serena.
The lingering sexist and racist odor of Serena’s French Open catsuittribute to mothers being criticized, labeled as disrespectful attire and publicly banned by The French Open President last week has also inspired Serena to dig a bit deeper when playing in her tutu.
The Shadow League on Twitter
It’s wild that despite all she’s done for the game, Serena has to keep dealing with this nonsense. https://t.co/DuduAxGKWJ
Further motivation comes from the two heirs to Williams Black Girl Magic tennis throne; Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens. Keys has already advanced to the quarters and Stephens plays tonight against No. 15 Elise Mertens for that honor.
Serena sat and watched Keys and Stephens make history the US Open Championship a festival, all-black, all-USA Flushing finals last year. Shes probably salivating at the mouth to get a chance to break up the young gunners’ party, establish order and once again, show the up-and-coming phenoms that she’s still the undefeated Queen.