Venus Williams Celebrates A Birth And A Rebirth Today

On a day in which younger sister Serena gave birth, Venus Williams continues to deliver major rebirth.

The 37-year-old Williams swept Maria Sakkari, 6-3, 6-4, at the US Open rolling into her ninth round of 16 in her last 10 Grand Slam appearances.

Fifteen years ago, Venus played her last US Open final against Serena. She didn’t play her most dynamic tennis today, but was efficient, calm and confident at crunch time taking another step toward her third Grand Slam final of the season.

“I mean, my best tennis this year has come at the majors,” Williams said. “I don’t play nearly as much as some of my contemporaries, but this year when I have played, it’s definitely been quality tennis. That’s exactly what I want, and obviously to play my best tennis at the Big 4.”

It was a life-changing day for the Williams family. Venus Williams became an aunt earlier today as sister Serena gave birth to her first child, a baby daughter who weighed in at 6 pounds, 13 ounces.

“Obviously, I’m super excited,” Venus told ESPN’s Pam Shriver. “Words can’t describe.”

Though Venus requested to focus on tennis questions only during her post-match press conference, she shared she has been talking and texting Serena almost daily and values her doubles partner’s advice.

“We always talk, so she’s always encouraging me,” Venus said of Serena. “Yeah, from every step of the way, every match, always.”

Contesting her 19th US Open, Williams said experience helps her shift from personal to professional excitement once she steps on court regardless of what’s happening in life.

“I’m a real professional, because I have been doing this for a long time, so when the first ball starts, it’s a ton of excitement out there,” Williams said. “So, you know, this is the US Open.”

The two-time US Open champion’s serve was not as sharp she’s shown bursting into the Australian Open and Wimbledon finals earlier this season. Williams committed eight double faults and was hit with a few foot faults, but she served with authority closing out a 74-minute conquest against a challenging opponent.

Still, as Hall of Famer Andre Agassi was fond of saying “You can’t win a Grand Slam title in the first week, but you can lose it.”

Despite 24 unforced errors, Williams scored her second straight-sets win in a row amping up her game for a push deep into the second week.

“I mean, obviously the last two rounds, straight sets, that’s awesome,” Williams told the media afterward. “And a win is a win. Whatever happens in the win gives you the opportunity to play the next day. Or, you know, God willing, you’re in the last round, you get to win. You win tournament. That’s the main focus is to cross the finish line.”

Striving to hit her stride for week two, Williams faces Spanish spin artist Carla Suarez Navarro for a quarterfinal spot. Suarez Navarro stopped Russian lefthander Ekaterina Makarova, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, advancing to her second straight US Open fourth round. 

Williams has won four of seven meetings with Suarez Navarro, but the Spaniard won their lone hard-court major clash at the 2009 Australian Open.

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