Day 9 of the U.S. Open is all about the blockbuster, primetime match featuring Serena and Venus Williams, who are fighting for a spot in the final four at night on Arthur Ashe. While Serena looks to move one step closer to completing the first Grand Slam since 1988, Venus hopes to halt her younger sister’s run. Matches begin at 12 p.m. ET on WatchESPN and coverage on ESPN begins 1 p.m. ET. Check out the full television and broadcast schedule here. Full order of play for Tuesday can be found here.
Matches and storylines to watch on Day 9
Serena Williams and Venus Williams play dream quarterfinal under the lights: Serena Williams dominated fellow American and rising star Madison Keys in the fourth round. Meanwhile, Venus looked just as sharp against qualifier Anett Kontaveit to set up the match many have been looking forward to at this year’s U.S. Open. The marquee match marks the 27th time the Williams sisters have played one another, with the last coming in the fourth round of Wimbledon earlier this year. Serena won that match in straight sets and also leads their head-to-head record by 15 matches to 11.
"I'm so proud of Serena, and I think she's proud of me," said Venus after taking out the qualifier Kontaveit in straight sets.
Serena, meanwhile, looked ahead to the opportunity to play Venus after winning her match against Keys. “We really relish the opportunity. We're both happy to still be involved in getting so far. And it's still super intense. She's doing well and she wants to win this. So do I. It's not easy,” she said.
Kristina Mladenovic and Roberta Vinci play for a spot against the winning Williams: In the first quarterfinal on Arthur Ashe, Mladenovic faces Vinci, who has played some of her best tennis at the U.S. Open, having advanced to the final eight three times in her career (all during the last four years). It’s her best showing a major tournament. Vinci advanced after Eugenie Bouchard was forced to withdraw on Sunday after suffering a concussion from a fall in the locker room.
Mladenovic, an accomplished doubles player who reached the Wimbledon final last year and won two mixed doubles major titles, has reached her best showing a major at the U.S. Open. The Frenchwoman has upset two Russian seeds to reach the final eight, including former champ Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round and Ekaterina Makarova in the fourth round. She’s yet to play Vinci in a WTA singles match.
Novak Djokovic follows the Williams sisters on Arthur Ashe: Although play at night will no doubt focus on the Williams sisters, fans at Arthur Ashe will get another treat in watching the World No. 1 Novak Djokovic play Feliciano Lopez in the quarters. The Serb beat Roberto Bautista Agut in four sets to reach his ninth consecutive U.S. Open quarterfinal. Djokovic won the tournament in 2011 and has reached four other finals in Flushing.
Lopez, meanwhile, has matched his best showing at a major with his first quarterfinal at the Open. He’s reached three at Wimbledon, too. But it’ll be tough for the Spaniard to advance further as Djokovic leads their head-to-head five matches to none.
“When Novak plays good, you don't know what to do to be honest. He has no weaknesses in his game. I just have to try my best, take the chances, enjoy this match in the biggest court in the world against the best player in the world,” said Lopez. “This is what I have to do.”
Defending champion Marin Cilic plays Jo-Wilfried Tsonga next: Marin Cilic has returned to the U.S. Open quarterfinals after a tremendous run at last year’s tournament to take his maiden title over Kei Nishikori. But if he wants to advance, he’ll need to get past Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. In his last match, Cilic beat another player from France, Jeremy Chardy, in four sets. Tsonga beat compatriot Benoit Paire in his fourth round match, winning in straight sets. The two have played seven times total (including at Challenger events), with Cilic edging Tsonga in the head-to-head by four matches to three. Cilic, meanwhile, has won their last three contests in straight sets.
“He's a good player. He beat me a few times in the past on big matches. For me, it's gonna be important, you know, to prepare this match as well as possible and try to find a way to go through,” Tsonga said about his matchup against Cilic.