Serena battles to win in 3 sets, reach quarters

Tennis

Serena Williams is into the quarterfinals at the US Open for a 12th consecutive appearance.

It wasn’t easy, though.

Williams needed to come from behind in the third set before taking another step closer to Grand Slam title No. 24 by edging Maria Sakkari 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-3 on Monday.

This was a rematch from less than two weeks ago at the Western & Southern Open. That one was won by Sakkari, also in three sets, when Williams dealt with leg cramps and faded down the stretch.

This time, Williams was two points from victory at 6-all in the tiebreaker but dropped the next two points and the set. Then she trailed 2-0 in the third before turning things around.

Williams, who turns 39 in less than three weeks, will face an unseeded opponent — either Alize Cornet or Tsvetana Pironkova — for a semifinal berth.

The American has won six of her 23 major singles championships at the US Open.

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