New York: When her work was done, her first trip to the US Open semi-finals since 2010 secured, if just barely, Venus Williams sat in her sideline chair and beamed .
Williams reached her third major semi-final of the season — something she last did 15 years ago — by edging two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (2) on Tuesday night to a soundtrack of thunderous partisan support under a closed roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
"I have to say, I felt every single one of you guys behind me — all 23,000," Williams told the crowd. "I mean, that feels good. It feels amazing. And I didn't want to let you guys down."
She sure didn't. The 37-year-old Williams, who won titles at Flushing Meadows way back in 2000 and 2001, trailed 3-1 in the third set before digging out of the hole with a little help: Kvitova's eighth double-fault handed over the break that made it 3-all. And Kvitova's ninth double-fault got Williams to match point in the tiebreaker.
Williams will face unseeded Sloane Stephens on Thursday in the first all-American women's semi-final in New York since 2002. Stephens advanced earlier Tuesday with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (4) victory over 16th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia. It is Stephens' deepest run at any major since 2013 and the apex of a recovery from foot surgery in January.
Kvitova, seeded 13th, was hoping to prolong her comeback from a knife attack less...