Serena and Venus Williams won their US Open second-round matches on Wednesday to set up a 30th career meeting, while reigning champion Sloane Stephens also advanced to the third round and will next face two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka, who was a runner-up in New York in 2012 and 2013.
Six-time champion Serena, who gave birth to daughter Olympia during last year’s tournament, unleashed 30 winners and 13 aces to beat German world No.101 Carina Witthoeft 6-2 6-2 in 67 minutes, while Venus, two-time US Open champion, battled for one hour and 51 minutes to defeat Italian Camila Giorgi 6-4 7-5.
The last time the sisters met at a Grand Slam was in the 2017 Australian Open final, which Serena won when eight weeks pregnant! Commenting on their upcoming encounter, Venus joked:
The last time we played the Australian, it was two-against-one. So at least this time it will be fair.
Meanwhile, Stephens managed to get across the finish line against world No.134 Anhelina Kalinina, who was playing in the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time. Battling the heat, Stephens was down a set, then allowed her opponent to level from 1-4 and 3-5 to 5-5, before eventually taking the second set and cruising through the third, 4-6 7-5 6-2. She’ll next face Victoria Azarenka, as the Belarusian enjoyed a routine 6-1 6-2 victory over Daria Gavrilova, who held serve only once in the match that lasted one hour and 22 minutes.
The upset of the day was Garbine Muguruza’s 3-6 6-4 6-4 second-round loss to Czech qualifier Karolina Muchova, a player ranked outside the Top 200!