Serena Williams squarely meets challenge, advances to quarterfinals

Colin Kaepernick puts his fist in the air as fans applaud for him during the Serena and Venus Williams match

But she couldn't convert two break chances in the 10th, and after Williams saved two set points Kanepi knotted the match with a service victor on her third set point.

Kanepi had the chance to break back as Serena double-faulted but she shanked a backhand, then the former No.1 sealed an ace and a service victor to consolidate the lead.

But having taken her first set against Williams in five career meetings, there would not be a second.

Any tension inside a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium, however, was quickly eased as a ruthless Williams stormed through the opening set in 18 minutes for the loss of a measly six points.

Pliskova defeated Williams in the semi-finals in NY in 2016.

Pliskova played more aggressively, as her 15 net points testified, and showed a more reliable second serve to produce her 37th win of the season and advance to quarter-finals stage at US Open for the third consecutive year as she was runner-up in 2016 and lost in the quarter-finals twelve months ago. She missed her Australian Open title defense, not returning to the tour until March.

"Maybe third time lucky for me", Sevastova said.

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"She has a really good forehand".

"It wasn't easy, obviously, I think one thing she did well was change her strategy and started doing just a completely different game and gave me a different look to her game", explained Williams, who laid down 18 aces.

Plislkova's runner-up finish to Kerber in the 2016 US Open remains her best Grand Slam finish, but Williams noted she briefly gained the number one world ranking previous year. "It will be an interesting match". Pliskova saved three further chances to break back, looking more solid and tactically smart on big points.

"I feel like it's important for women to know that it doesn't happen like that in the Instagram world. For sure, there is always a chance for me".

Kaia Kanepi of Estonia congratulates Serena Williams at the net after their match during the seventh day of the US Open.

Notable wins include her defeat of No. 6 seed Sam Stosur in the first round at Wimbledon in 2010, No. 9 seed Caroline Wozniacki in the third round at Roland-Garros in 2012, and No. 7 seed Jelena Jankovic in the first round at Wimbledon in 2014, to name a few.

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