Serena gets win No. 308; Radwanska falls | mb.com.ph | Philippine News
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Serena gets win No. 308; Radwanska falls

New York — Venus Williams went from down and out to a point from victory, then back again. In the end, she couldn’t quite get past a woman a dozen years younger and never before at this stage of a Grand Slam tournament.

Williams failed to convert a match point and lost 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3) to 10th-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the fourth round of the U.S. Open on Monday, despite vociferous support from the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd down the stretch.

“I really played the perfect point there,” the sixth-seeded Williams said about her chance to end things while up 5-4 in the third set, and Pliskova serving at 30-40, “and she managed to stay alive.”

Ana Konjuh of Croatia upsets No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland. (AP / Manila Bulletin)

Ana Konjuh of Croatia upsets No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.
(AP / Manila Bulletin)

At 36, Williams would have been the oldest woman to reach the quarterfinals at any major since Martina Navratilova was 37 at Wimbledon in 1994.

Williams made it that far at Flushing Meadows a year ago, before losing to her younger sister Serena. This time, they had been on course for an all-in-the-family showdown in the semifinals; Serena followed Venus in Ashe and beat Yaroslava Shvedova 6-2, 6-3 in the fourth round for her 308th Grand Slam match victory, breaking a tie with Roger Federer for most in the Open era, which dates to 1968.

Pliskova managed, just barely, to make it to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at age 24. Until this tournament, she never had been past the third round in 17 appearances at majors.

In men’s action, 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro became the lowest-ranked man in the U.S. Open quarterfinals in 25 years, advancing when No. 8 seed Dominic Thiem stopped in the second set because of an injured right knee.

Del Potro missed 2 1/2 years’ worth of major tournaments because of a trio of operations on his left wrist, so he’s ranked only 142nd. Jimmy Connors was 174th when he made a stirring run to the semifinals in New York at age 39 in 1991.

The 2012 title winner at Flushing Meadows, Andy Murray, eased into the quarterfinals for the 22nd time in his past 23 majors, beating No. 22 Grigor Dimitrov 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 at night. Murray now faces 2014 runner-up Kei Nishikori, who advanced by beating No. 21 Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (4). Murray defeated Nishikori in the semifinals of the Rio Olympics last month en route to an unprecedented second consecutive singles gold medal.