Third set: * Pironkova 6-4, 3-6, 0-2 Williams
Williams is pushed to hell, but follows with a couple of irreversible bars to close his grip and sustain the counterattack. There are five games at a trot for the American from 3 to all in the second. An unmissable service game coming to Pironkova.
Williams breaks in the first match of the third set!
Third set: Pironkova 6-4, 3-6, 0-1 Williams *
Pironkova almost immediately into deep water after falling behind at love-30 on her serve. He resumes with three quick points, but Williams responds with a backhand winner for two, followed by a backhand return winner for breaking point. Pironkova clears it with the help of the netcord, but only a few moments later faces another break point. Pironkova saves that too, when Williams rocks a backhand return with a second serve at 73 mph. Williams stays around long enough for a third chance to break and this time capitalizes, winning the marathon by 16 points per nose ahead in the decision maker.
Williams wins the second set, 6-3!
Second set: Pironkova 6-4, 3-6 Williams
Williams drops to love-15, then 15-30. But the American goes to the bottom, beating her 14th, 15th and 16th aces to sustain the break and close the set in style. We are directed to a decision maker.
Williams breaks into the eighth game of the second set!
Second set: Pironkova 6-4, 3-5 Williams *
Pironkova loses three quick points on her serve to give Williams three chances in a break point. Save the first with a straight-fly winner. Then a grueling 24-stroke base rally breaks out – the longest in the afternoon – which ends when Pironkova misses a drop shot. Williams gets the break and will be used to force a decisive set!
Second set: * Pironkova 6-4, 3-4 Williams
Williams goes down for love-15 and 15-30, but serves once again to get out of trouble as Pironkova fails to put a ball back into play for the rest of the course.
Second set: Pironkova 6-4, 3-3 Williams *
Pironkova was in dire need of a direct serve game and that’s what she produced, rattling off four quick points after missing a straight volley for love-15. I’m on duty in the second.
Second set: * Pironkova 6-4, 2-3 Williams
Williams manages to get through her third serve game of the set, closing the love trap with a 99mph ace and a second serve winner of 88mph.
Second set: Pironkova 6-4, 2-2 Williams *
Pironkova feels the pressure on her serve for a second consecutive serve game, is pushed to double and saves a break point before running away with the hold. Williams is becoming neutral in grassroots rallies much more effectively than in the first set, when Pironkova won all five exchanges by nine or more hits.
Second set: * Pironkova 6-4, 1-2 Williams
Williams is forced to double and forced to work for the hold on a 12-point game, but the American is helped once again by her serve: she has just placed her ninth, tenth and eleventh axes of the day. She is also starting to take the ball deeper into the field in exchanges, denying Pironkova the time and space she enjoyed in the first set.
Williams breaks out in the second game of the second set!
Second set: Pironkova 6-4, 1-1 Williams *
Pironkova blinks in her first serve game of the second set, staying behind love-15, then 15-30, then 30-40 to give Williams her first look at a breaking point all day. And Williams converts him when Pironkova misfires on a forehand from the baseline, breaking through immediately.
Pironkova breaks into the first match of the second set!
Second set: * Pironkova 6-4, 1-0 Williams
Williams crushes her eighth ace for 15-all after losing the opening point, then is pushed to 30-all after Pironkova got the better of a backhand for backhand exchange from the baseline. Pironkova then hits a backhand winner for breaking point … and the underdog converts him when Williams misfires with a forehand for his 13th unforced mistake of the day. The upset alarm is on as Williams goes down a set and pause.
Pironkova wins the first set, 6-4!
First set: Pironkova 6-4 Williams
Serving 15-love and three points from the set, Pironkova makes a bad time for her first double fault of the day. But she responds well, going 110 mph, serving winner and backhand winner to close the set. Williams will have to go the distance if she hopes to keep her quest for a record-breaking 24th title alive.
First set: * Pironkova 5-4 Williams
Unforced errors are starting to creep into Williams’ game at an inopportune moment. She gets pushed to 30-round after doing a couple on the backhand side. Pironkova wins the next point with a sharp backhand from the baseline for set point, but Williams saves it with a forehand winner in an open field. He follows up with a service winner, but another unforced error from the baseline in the next spot brings him back to two. Pironkova then puts in a key roll lob winner for a second set point, but wastes it with an overcooked forehand. From there the Williams held, finishing with a 103mph ace in the middle. Pironkova will serve for the first set after the change.
First set: Pironkova 5-3 Williams *
Pironkova stays behind Love-15 and is pushed to a second serve at 30-all, but holds comfortably from there, closing the grip with an ace of 109mph out. Williams will now serve to stay in the first set.
First set: * Pironkova 4-3 Williams
Williams resisted, closing the door with her eighth winner (against five unforced errors). The American’s serve is keeping her afloat so far with 10 of her 13 first serve points (77%), but she will need to improve her first serve percentage (54%), especially if Pironkova manages to maintain this level.
First set: Pironkova 4-2 Williams *
Pironkova runs through another serve game. He has only lost two of his 14 serving points. Williams are trying to avoid backhand-to-backhand rallies by playing heavily on her opponent’s forehand, but Pironvoka’s movement and point building have mostly defeated the tactic so far.
Pironkova breaks into the fifth game of the first set!
First set: * Pironkova 3-2 Williams
Pironkova knocks his teeth into a Williams serve game, snatching a forehand winner from the back line for 30-all. Then Williams mixes up her first double foul to give Pironkova her first break point opportunity of the day. The American saves her with an ace at 104mph in the middle, but an unforced backhand mistake at the next point gives Pironkova a second look at an escape. This time he converts beat a backhand winner down the line by stepping inside the baseline to achieve the initial break.
First set: Pironkova 2-2 Williams *
A promising start for Pironkova, who cares about love. Williams, who didn’t throw a ball back into play during the game, has trouble reading the Bulgarian’s serve, who has won eight points out of nine with her racket.
First set: Pironkova 1-1 Williams *
Pironkova, surprisingly, opens with an ace: 108 mph in the middle. It follows with a forehand winner from the baseline to settle a 15-shot exchange, then a serve winner for 40 loves. Pironkova gifts a Williams back with a forehand mistake, but holds the next point with a winner overtaking forehand as Williams makes it to the net.
First set: * Pironkova 0-1 Williams (* indicates next server)
Williams is on duty to start the match and is quick on target, following a serve winner with back-to-back axes: 108mph wide and 115mph in center. Pironkova finally catches a ball in play and on the scoreboard with a winner of the drop shot / lob combination, then pushes it to 40-30 when Williams misfires on a forehand. But Williams responded with her third ace to close the trick in her opening service game.
The players exited the tunnel at Arthur Ashe Stadium for today’s first quarter-final. Williams are unbeaten in four previous encounters with Pironkova, including two series straight wins in two hard court games. Another simple result would greatly benefit the American, given the rapid turnaround ahead of tomorrow’s women’s semifinals.
Hello and welcome to Arthur Ashe Stadium for Wednesday’s daytime twinbill. A couple of quarter-final matches are scheduled with Serena Williams facing Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, followed by an all-Russian clash between Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev.
Today’s opening is a match between two of nine mothers in this year’s draw. Third-seeded Williams, who lost more than a year after having a daughter in 2017, will continue her quest for a record-breaking 24th title against Pironkova, who is playing her first tournament after a hiatus. three years in which she gave birth to a son. The winner advances to the semi-final on Thursday against number 16 Elise Mertens or unseeded Victoria Azarenka, who face off at 19:00 local time.
Bryan will be here shortly, meanwhile, here’s Kevin Mitchell on the Serena Williams campaign:
No one in tennis suffers from her art quite like Serena Williams, except perhaps her former doubles partner, Andy Murray. In women’s circles, no one withdraws into their world so completely under pressure, external and self-induced, only to emerge like a butterfly from a chrysalis and fly free.
As long as she stays in battle this week at Flushing Meadows, the greatest player of her generation will become more introspective, quick-tempered, monosyllabic and explosive in pursuit of the 24th Grand Slam title. If she wins the last point of the tournament to move alongside Margaret Court after nearly three unsuccessful seasons, she will smile, thank the absent crowd, and let go of the anxiety that took her so troublingly in the first set of her win over Sloane. Stephens on Saturday.
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