Venus Williams continued her renaissance year Tuesday when she downed Petra Kvitova 6-3 3-6 7-6(2) and secured a spot in the U.S. Open semifinals.
“Sometimes you have opportunities and sometimes you take them and you don‘t, but it’s not like you get opportunity after opportunity after opportunity in these sorts of matches,” Williams said. “You have to take the ones you have.”
The 37-year-old ninth seed is now just one victory away, against U.S. compatriot Sloane Stephens, from playing for the U.S. Open title for the first time since 2002.
“I’m still living my dream, and it’s amazing,” Williams said.
Despite Williams playing the Australian Open and Wimbledon finals this season, it has been nine years since she celebrated the last of her seven grand slam singles. That made her as hungry for trophies as ever.
Kvitova, seeded 13th, was hoping to prolong her comeback from a knife attack less than nine months ago by reaching the first U.S. Open semifinal of her career. Kvitova has said she still does not have full strength in her left hand, but in the last two sets, she still caused trouble for Williams.
“I have to say I felt every single one of you guys behind me. That feels good and I did not want to let you guys down,” Williams told the 23,000 crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium, before adding a word for Kvitova.
“Everything she’s gone through ... It’s unbelievable. It’s wonderful to see her back and play amazing. I‘m so fortunate to have won that match.”
As CoCo Vandeweghe also made it into the U.S. Open women’s semifinals on Wednesday, Madison Keys had a chance to make it an all-American final four if she beat 418th-ranked qualifier Kaia Kanepi on Wednesday night.
The United States hasn't had all four semifinalists at the U.S. Open since 1981.
“All I have known all my life was great American players,” Williams said. “So it’s great to see this resurgence, and I hope it can continue.”