For many years Labor Day was the time you watched the Jerry Lewis Telethon and spent your afternoon watching the acts and maybe donating a buck or two.
With the telethon a thing of the past, the USTA decided to give us a different way to spend the first Monday in September.
With a Williams’ sisters double-header, of course.
Venus and Serena were center stage on Arthur Ashe Stadium with looking to make the Quarterfinals.
Venus, as the older sister went first and dropped a tough three setter to the No. 10 seed, Karolina Pliskova, 4-6 6-4 6-7 (3), seeing the Czech national advance to the Quarterfinals.
“We both competed really well,” Venus said. “Of course I’d like to come out on top of that match. Just kept fighting till the end, but I don’t know, she had a little more luck today. I had a few too many errors in the tiebreaker.”
The No. 4 seed coming into the tournament had a great comeback this year and the dream Semifinal matchup between here and Serena was something the ESPN executive were salivating over.
But now that’s over and Venus gets to root for her sister.
“(Serena’s) match is on right now,” Venus said. “Of course I like her chances. You know, I’m sure that her opponent wants to win, too. She’s going to have to be able to still play well no matter who’s across the net.
“But of course, you know, I’m hoping that she’ll get the win.”
Serena did in straight sets, 6-2 6-3, over unseeded Yaroslava Shvedova to earn her 308th grand slam win, moving her past Roger Federer for first all-time.
“It’s a huge number,” Serena said. “I think it’s very significant actually. I think it’s something that, you know, just really talks about the length of my career, in particular. I’ve been playing for a really long time, but also, you know, given that consistency up there. That’s something that I’m really proud of.”
The younger Williams’ sister is playing like this is her tournament. She said she isn’t “overplaying or underplaying” and continues to be the obvious favorite for this tournament.
The way things are going, there probably will be a Finals matchup with either Caroline Wozniacki or Angelique Kerber, both will give some compelling drama.
However, like with every other tournament, the only person who can beat Serena is Serena and she has to stay on top of her game to get the prize.
Next, though is No. 5 seed Simona Halep, who Serena seems to be ready to play.
“I just think with everyone I play, they play a step up and above their ranking. I think that’s the beauty, one of the reasons I’m able to hang,” she said. “Everyone I’m playing is playing like they’re No. 1.To me it doesn’t really matter who I play because I have to expect they’re going to play the match of their life. That’s how I go into these matches now.”
And that should frighten the competition. Serena is seems to be ready and willing.
Much the way Jerry Lewis ran the Telethon.