History of the Serena vs. Venus Williams rivalry at the U.S. Open
NEW YORK – On Tuesday, Serena Williams and Venus Williams will meet for the 27th time in their careers and the fifth time at the U.S. Open. Serena is 15-11 against her older sister, including a 6-1 mark over their last seven matches.
This won’t be the first time the sisters have met at the U.S. Open. Venus and Serena have played four matches in Flushing, with each sister winning two.
Ahead of Tuesday’s highly anticipated match, let’s look back at the four previous matches the Williams sisters have played at the U.S. Open.
Final, 2001: Venus d. Serena 6–2, 6–4
The 2001 U.S. Open marked the first time the Williams sister would meet in a Grand Slam final. In the semifinals, No. 10 Serena upset No. 1 Martina Hingis, while No. 4 Venus Williams topped No. 2 Jennifer Capriati.
At the time, Venus still had a strong upper hand in the sibling rivalry, with four wins and two defeats, one of which was a walkover. And the elder Williams sister continued her dominance in Flushing in 2001, where she earned a 6–2, 6–4 win over Serena.
“I just don't like to see Serena lose against anybody—even me,” Venus said after the match. “I don't exactly feel like I won. If I was playing a different opponent, I would probably be a lot more joyful.”
Serena proceeded to reel off six straight wins against Venus, including five in Grand Slam finals.
“I have a lot of room for improvement,” Serena said after the 2001 final. “You guys haven’t seen anything yet.”
Final, 2002: Serena d. Venus 6–4, 6–3
For the second straight year, the Williams sisters met in the U.S. Open final. But this time, the younger sister emerged victorious.
Roughly two months after beating Venus in the Wimbledon final, No. 1 Serena earned a 6–4, 6–3 victory over No. 2 Venus to win her second U.S. Open title. The win marked Serena’s third consecutive Grand Slam title, which would culminate in her first “Serena Slam” the following January when she defeated Venus in the Australian Open final.
The 2002 final came in the heyday of the Williams sisters’ rivalry, when the pair met in six of seven consecutive Grand Slam finals.
Fourth round, 2005: Venus d. Serena 7–6(5), 6–2
When Serena and Venus meet at a Grand Slam, it’s usually in the later stages of the tournament. But in 2005, they met in just the fourth round of the U.S. Open.
Venus, who won Wimbledon that July for her first Grand Slam title since 2001, beat her sister for the second time in 2005, ending a run of six straight Serena wins from 2002 to 2003. (The sisters didn’t meet in 2004.) Venus, seeded No. 10, earned a 7–6(5), 6–2 victory over No. 8 Serena, who was seven months into a two-year spell without a Grand Slam title.
Venus fell in the quarterfinals to Kim Clijsters, who ended up winning the tournament.
Quarterfinals, 2008: Serena d. Venus 7–6(6), 7–6(7)
The last time the Williams sisters met at the U.S. Open was in 2008, when Serena snuck by Venus on her way to her third U.S. Open title. Serena won in straight sets, but it took two close tiebreakers to beat her sister, who had won a second consecutive Wimbledon title earlier that summer.
Remarkably, Serena faced 5-3 deficits in both sets and saved 10 set points over the course of the match, including eight in the second set.
After the match, Venus seemed dumbfounded by the result.
"I felt like I was always in control," she said. "If it was someone else, I definitely feel like I would have won the match."
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