In a hard-fought battle that pushed American tennis star Venus Williams, the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open came to an exciting conclusion as she battled her way to success over Czech Republic player Petra Kvitova.
Venus Williams entered the night riding a wave of success she and her fellow Americans enjoyed, as four U.S. players entered the quarterfinals for the first time since 2002. However, she was met by stiff resistance in the form of some sharp play by Kvitova, though Williams pulled to victory after three matches that went 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (2) in her favor.
Williams breezed to victory in the first set, which she won without much difficulty. However, her level of play began to slip as the second set wore on, and Kvitova bounced back for a win of her own. This produced the pivotal third set of the match, which was by far the most tense and exciting set of their battle.
Early in their contest, Kvitova went up 3-1 on Williams, who was forced to fight back to even their score at 3-3 for the final set. With their scores once again even, Williams pressed her advantage and went up 4-3 on Kvitova. From there, Kvitova attempted to regain the lead, but Williams responded with a powerful forehand that put Kvitova down 5-6.
Despite the single point advantage, Williams was not able to put away her opponent, who forced a tiebreak. At this point, Kvitova faltered as Williams went up first 4-1, then 5-1 and 6-1 in the tiebreak. Only a double fault for Williams allowed Kvitova any sign of life, though the Czech player still trailed 6-2. However, there would be no miraculous comeback, and Kvitova lost the match on a forced error.
It was an amazing match full of story lines. Kvitova’s more than respectable showing comes in a year in which she was stabbed during a robbery of her home. Her performance at the U.S. Open is a testament to her commitment and dedication to the game. For Williams, the victory is yet another story in an already legendary career and counts as yet another win during a time when she is revitalizing her career.
[Featured Image by Tim Ireland/AP Images]