WTA Lexington: Serena Williams battles past sister Venus to reach quarters

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WTA Lexington: Serena Williams battles past sister Venus to reach quarters

Competing against each other for the 31st time, Serena Williams took down the older sister Venus 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 19 minutes in Lexington. For the second match in a row, Serena had to come from a set down, raising her level in set two and advancing into the quarter-final.

Serena won five points more than Venus, firing 14 aces and losing serve four times. On the other hand, Venus defended ten out of 15 break opportunities, giving her best but settling with the second-around result. In the opening set, Venus fended off four out of five break chances and grabbed two return games for an early lead.

Serena pulled the trigger first, earning a break in the first game following a loose forehand from the older sister. Serena held after deuce in game two to confirm the advantage with a service winner, creating three more break opportunities a few minutes later.

Venus repelled them all to avoid even an even bigger deficit, gathering momentum from there and breaking back at 15 in the next one when Serena sent a backhand wide. Venus landed a deep return that Serena failed to control in game six, forging a 4-2 advantage and saving a break point in the next one to remain ahead.

Serving for the set at 5-3, the 40-year-old showed no sign of nerves, holding at 30 with a service winner to move closer to the finish line. Serena raised her level in set number two, adding more precision to her strokes and dropping only eight points in five service games.

Venus couldn't follow that pace, struggling in the middle of the set and falling behind when her younger sister claimed a break in the sixth game. Serena held at 15 in the first game with an ace and producing another comfortable hold with a forehand winner that pushed her 2-1 in front.

Serena Williams came from a set down to beat sister Venus.

Venus survived two break chances in the fourth game and couldn't do the same two games later when Serena landed a perfect backhand down the line winner that sent her 4-2 in front.

The 23-time Major champion closed the set when Venus placed a forehand into the net in the ninth game, earning boost and standing as the favorite ahead of the decider. After a break due to heat, they returned to the court and Serena grabbed a break with a forehand winner at 1-1, wasting her chances in game four and allowing Venus to break back with a forehand winner.

The older sister had the upper hand in those moments, breaking Serena in game six to take a big step towards the triumph. Refusing to surrender, Serena fired a forehand crosscourt winner to reduce the deficit and stay in contention.

Serena held after deuce in game eight to lock the result at 4-4, taking the third straight game with a beautiful backhand down the line winner for a crucial break and a 5-4 advantage. With two aces, Serena earned a match point in the tenth game, sealing the deal after a forehand error from Venus to clinch the 19th victory over her sister.