New York: Serena Williams was forced to dig deep to secure a 4-6 6-3 6-2 US Open quarter-final victory over unseeded Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova on Wednesday, keeping alive her latest bid for a record-tying 24th grand slam singles title.
Williams, a six-times champion in New York, struggled with Pironkova’s slice forehand early and was at risk of her earliest US Open exit in 14 years until she used her experience to find a way back against a resurgent Pironkova.
“I’m happy to be standing here … because at one point I was pretty close to not being here,” Williams said during the on-court winner’s interview. “I keep fighting and that’s one thing that I am super excited about is I never give up.”
For Pironkova, who dropped to 0-5 in career head-to-head meetings with Williams, the loss marked the end of a surprise New York run given this was her first professional tournament since Wimbledon in 2017.