Serena Williams had a busy day at the office on Monday in New York, beating Maria Sakkari to advance into the 17th US Open quarter-final from 20 appearances. Serena defeated Maria 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 to remain on the title course, delivering her 100th triumph at Arthur Ashe in her 111th consecutive encounter on the world's biggest stadium.
Also, Serena is through to her 53rd Major quarter-final, matching Martina Navratilova and trailing only one behind the Open era leader Chris Evert. Twenty-one years after her first title in New York, Serena is still competitive and eager to lave everything on the court, working hard against the Greek and advancing into the quarters for the 12th consecutive time at her home Major.
Serena grabbed eight points more than Maria, delivering more efficient numbers behind the second serve and getting broken once in the decider. Sakkari had an early lead in the final set but was still far away from the finish line, with Williams securing six of the last seven games to remain on the course for the 24th Major crown.
Maria had more winners and more errors, fighting hard and not using her opportunities to finish the journey in the fourth round. Both players served well in the opening four games, losing four points before Serena experienced problems in game five.
Playing against three break points, Williams grabbed five straight points to avoid the setback and stay on the positive side. The Greek squandered four game points in the next one, allowing Serena to convert the third break chance and open a 4-2 gap.
The six-time champion served well in game seven to extend the lead, firing three winners at 5-3 to grab the opener and momentum.
Serena Williams will compete in the 53rd Major quarter-final.
Serena and Maria delivered 11 commanding holds in set number two before the American fended off two set points with service winners at 5-6.
In the tie break, Williams saved two set points at 4-6 before Maria prevailed 8-6 to secure the breaker and send the clash into a decider. With the momentum on her side, Sakkari grabbed a break at the beginning of the decider to forge a 2-0 advantage, looking good to deliver Serena's earliest loss since 2006!
Maria could have moved 3-1 ahead, losing serve instead to bring Serena back to 2-2 and suffering another break at 3-4 after netting a forehand. Serving at 5-3, Williams forced a backhand error from Sakkari to move over the top and reach the last eight for the 17th time in New York, facing Tsvetlana Pironkova in the battle for the semis.