Venus Williams wins thriller to set up all-American semifinal against Sloane Stephens

(CNN)Venus Williams is the definition of longevity.

It was 16 years ago that the 37-year-old won the last of her two US Open titles and now the American is two victories away from securing what would be a remarkable success in New York.
Williams overcame two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in a thrilling three-set contest to set up an all-American semifinal with Sloane Stephens, a compatriot 13 years her junior.
 
 
 
Seven-time major champion Williams, already a finalist this year at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, beat Kvitova 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-2), clinching victory in a superb final-set tiebreak.
“it definitely felt like a special match,” Williams, who came back from 3-1 down in the final set, told reporters.
 
“There were no easy moments. It wasn’t easy to hold serve or break serve. This match meant a lot to me, obviously, playing at home and of course it being a major.”

The all-American showdown

In reaching the last four at Flushing Meadows, Williams — aged 37 years and three months — surpassed her own record as the oldest player to make the semifinals of a grand slam and set up the first all-American US Open semifinal since 2002.
Indeed, Williams’ statistics are remarkable — the two-time US Open champion will be playing in her 23rd grand slam semifinal and third in 2017.
Should the American win the title on Saturday, she could rise to No.2 in the rankings which is an incredible feat a player who revealed in 2011 that she had been diagnosed with Sjorgen’s syndrome, an incurable auto-immune disease that causes fatigue and joint pain.
Her progress at Flushing Meadows has already guaranteed her a return to the top five of the world rankings for the first time since 2011.

“It definitely felt like a special match,” said Venus Williams after her thrilling three-set win over Petra Kvitova. Williams is through to her 23rd grand slam semifinal — and will take on Sloane Stephens in an all-American showdown in New York.