Serena Williams defeated sister Venus 6-2, 1-6, 6-3. This meeting was the first time the Williams sisters have played each other at the U.S. Open since 2008 and the 27th time they have met each other on the court during their careers as tennis pros. Both sisters have powerful serves—Serena Williams with 12 aces and Venus Williams with eight. This match was only the second time that Serena Williams played to three sets in this year’s U.S. Open.

When asked what it meant for her to see her sister playing so well again, Serena Williams replied, “It’s really great to see her doing so well. She was at an unbelievable level tonight. Down to the match point, it was not easy. It was probably the toughest match I have had in a long time.”

When Venus Williams was asked what was the toughest part about playing her sister, both in terms of strokes and in terms of mindset, she answered, “She has of course a wonderful mental game, but she also has the ability to come up with a great shot when she needs it. That’s just been the hallmark of her game.”

The sisters didn’t give each other a soft path to the semifinal round. “It was a tough match,” said Serena Williams, who now is two matches away from history. “She was on her game tonight and would have beaten anyone out there.”

Serena Williams moves on to the semifinals in a match against Roberta Vinci, the 26th seed who has never scored a win over Williams. Williams is on her way to a finals title and a record-setting tie with Steffi Graf, who won all four Grand Slam championships in the 1988 calendar year.

Photos by Margot Jordan