Venus Williams defeated Agnieszka Radwanska to reach her first Grand Slam quarter-finals in a little over four years.
The 18th seed American fired a morale-boosting 43 winners to 36 unforced errors to beat Radwanska, who managed 23 winners to 19 unforced, 6-3 2-6 6-1.
It is the first time since Wimbledon 2010 that both Williams sisters will be in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam after her younger sibling, Serena, doused Garbine Muguruza’s flame earlier on Monday. Venus last reached the last eight of a Major at Flushing Meadows in 2010, when she actually reached the semi-finals (falling to eventual champion Kim Klijster).
“Definitely my sister Serena,” Venus replied when asked about her inspiration to keep plugging away all these years. “She is just the ultimate champion. She definitely gives me a lot of inspiration. And of course all of my fans, who’ve always stayed behind me.”
The 34-year-old, in her own words “still has a few tricks” up her sleeves. The seven-time Grand Slam champion was at her aggressive best sight from the onset, needing just 51 minutes to take the first set.
In a match typical for its shift in momentum, it was Radwanska’s in the second set as the Pole reeled off five consecutive games to go 5-1 up before clinching it 6-2 with just four unforced errors to her disadvantage.
The World No. 6 broke in the first game of the decider but was soon up against a vintage Venus, who reeled off six games in a row to claim her quarter-finals spot.
“The first set wasn’t easy- it was 6-3, but it was about a hour,” Williams said after the win. “In the second set she started playing even better. I think I was a little bit impatient out there.
“The third set I just went into a little bit of a trance- I just wanted to win so badly.”
The former world number one now sets up an all-American last eight tie with Madison Keys.
No. 35-ranked Keys topped Monday’s battle of the Madisons 6-2 6-4 against her lower ranked compatriot Madison Brengle, firing six aces and 38 winners in a match that lasted exactly an hour to reach her first Majors quarter-finals.
Keys has lost once against Venus but having already ousted Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in Saturday’s third-round victory, the 19-year-old will be looking to build on her newfound momentum.