SERENA Williams turned her 30th career encounter with her sister Venus into a one-woman showcase, reaching the US Open fourth round with a 6-1 6-2 victory.
Reluctantly to an occasion that none of the sisters liked, Serena said she played her best match since returning in March, more than six months after the birth of daughter Olympia, last September 1.
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"I played much better tonight than I've since I started this trip on the way back," said Serena, though she was not sure if she agreed with Venus's assessment that it was the best match she ever had against her sister. played .
"I think this is forever the best match I've ever played against her," she said.
"But I never know about it, ever."
Anyway, the score was equal to Serena's most unreliable win over Venus and took her from 18-12 directly against her sister.
"She played so well that I could never really touch balls," Venus said.
"I do not think I did much wrong, but she just did everything right.
"It is clear that that level is certain where it wants to stay during this entire tournament.
The most dramatic moment of the game came when Serena just rolled her right into the second game. She took a medical time-out at the next switch to add more tape to the bandage she already wore under her sock.
There was no sign that she was being hit while she was playing through seven straight games.
"It feels good that the game is over, win or lose, it just feels good that it worked out," said Serena, who showed nothing of her usual exuberance on the pitch, even when she surrounded 34 winners and 10 aces.
When she sealed it with a forehand winner, the sisters gathered on the net for a hug and then walked to their seats before Serena recognized the crowd with a wave.
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& # 39; It is not easy, & # 39; Serena said to Venus.
"She's my best friend, she means the world to me, and every time she loses, I feel like I'm doing it."
Since she fell in the final of Wimbledon in Angelique Kerber, Serena had seen irregular results in the run-up to the US Open.
But she looked every inch as a contender to demand a record seventh US Open crown that would see her equal Margaret Court's record of 24 major titles.
Serena will try to take the next step when she takes up Kaia Kanepi for a place in the quarterfinals.
The Estonian, who toppled world-number one Simona Halep in the first round, defeated Swedish Rebecca Peterson 6-3-7-6 (7/3).
Defending champion Sloane Stephens, at No. 3 the highest seed that was left in the draw after the Halep and world number two Caroline Wozniacki, booked her fourth round berth with a 6-3 6-4 victory over former number one Victoria Azarenka .
She faces 15th-placed Belgian Elise Mertens for a place in the quarterfinals after Mertens defeated Czech Barbora Strycova 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).
Seventh seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina defeated Wang Qiang 6-4, 6-4 of China to set up a meeting with Latvian Anastasija Sevastova, a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 winner on Russian Ekaterina Makarova.
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Originally published as Brutal Serena, Venus steams in emotional victory