Pliskova hangs on to deny Venus a quarter-final spot
TENNIS: Karolina Pliskova has stopped any chance of another US Open clash of the Williams sisters, narrowly beating Venus 4-6 6-4 7-6(3) to reach the quarter-finals.
The oldest remaining player in the draw at 36, Williams held off five match points against the 24-year-old Czech in the nearly two-and-a-half-hour match.
Williams also had a match point opportunity of her own.
"To win matches like this, it takes some time,” said Pliskova, who has never been beyond the third round of a grand slam until this tournament.
"You need to have experience definitely on the big stages, on the big tournaments. That was the biggest stage that I've played. In the States, obviously against an American girl, I knew it's going to be tough.
"But I just wanted to beat her, not the crowd. (It) is impossible to beat 23,000 people.”
Tenth-seeded Pliskova will play Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska or Croatia's Ana Konjuh in the quarters and then, if she wins, face Venus's sister Serena in a semi-final.
Serena became the most prolific winner of grand slam matches in the open era after beating Yaroslava Shvedova 6-2 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals.
She surpassed Roger Federer for the record with win No.308.
Serena is 308-42 at major tournaments and is three wins from her 23rd grand slam singles title, which would break a tie with Steffi Graf for the most in the open era, which started in 1968.
"Oh wow, it is really exciting, this is where it all started so it is always so magical out here for me but 308 sounds pretty good,” Williams said.
She has made it to the quarter-finals in each of her past nine appearances at Flushing Meadows.