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Serena Williams vs Venus Williams US Open R3 Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Serena and Venus meet for the 30th time

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 31 Aug 2018
  • Serena Williams vs Venus Williams is live from New York on Friday, 31 August from 7:00pm local time/ 12:00am BST
  • Serena leads 17-12 on head-to-head
Serena Williams. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Serena and Venus Williams go head-to-head for the 30th time on Friday night as tennis's power sisters battle for a fourth round spot at the US Open. 

The sisters have traced contrasting paths into this third round meeting, with Serena barely breaking sweat in dismissing Magda Linette and Carina Witthoeft in the opening two rounds, while Venus needed almost five hours in the sweltering heat of the day to see off fellow former champion, Svetlana Kuznetsova and the explosive Italian, Camila Giorgi. Could that be a factor in the eventual outcome of Friday's contest? 

Serena didn't have the best build-up to the US Open- she suffered the heaviest defeat of her career against Johanna Konta in the opening round in San Jose, and crashed to Petra Kvitova in the second round in Cincinnati in her only other tournament in the lead up to New York, but all of that matters little now. 

The 23-time Grand Slam champion is made for the big stage, and on the evidence the first two rounds at Flushing Meadows, she is in very good touch. The first half of her opening match against Linette was close, but from 3-3, she won nine of the next ten games to ease to victory. She was equally untroubled in the second round, hitting 13 aces and 30 winners overall in a 6-2 6-2 dispatch of Germany's Carina Witthoeft to record back-to-back wins for the first time since Wimbledon. 
Serena is playing her first US Open as a mother, and just her seventh tournament since returning to the tour after missing over a year due to pregnancy and child birth. The former world number one has wasted very little time in reasserting herself on the tour, as she is already back into the top 30, although she is playing with a spiked seeding of 17 in New York.

Granted, she is yet to be really pushed this week, but that should change when she takes on her sister, Venus in the third round.

Venus has had a poor year at the majors, crashing out in the first round at the Australian Open and Roland Garros, and losing to Kiki Bertens in the third round at Wimbledon, but she has put together two battling wins to emerge from a tough draw, into the third round. 

Venus Williams. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
She should have put away fellow former champion, Kuznetsova a lot quicker in the opening round, having led 6-3 4-1, but she couldn't close out the Russian, missing two match points while serving for the match at 5-3 in the second set. Kuznetsova made the most of that reprieve, battling back to take the set and force a decider. Credit to Venus, she regrouped and took early control of the deciding set with two early breaks, and despite more hiccups along the way, the two-time former champion held on to win 6-3 5-7 6-3 after almost three hours. 

The 38-year-old was again pushed very hard by Italy's Camila Giorgi in the second round, recovering from a break down in both sets to win 6-4 7-5. Williams failed to serve out the first set at 5-3, but she broke in the next game to take the opener. The pivotal point of the second set, and possibly the match was at 4-4, when Venus battled back from 0-40, saving five break points, to hang on to her serve and deny Giorgi the opportunity to serve for the second set, which was significant, given the rising temperatures. She went on to finish off another hard fought contest, crucially in two sets! 

Venus has lost her top-ten ranking as a result of her indifferent form this year, and with semi-final points on the line at Flushing Meadows, she needs a decent fortnight to keep that ranking under check. Her best results this season have been in North America, where she's reached the semi-finals at Indian Wells and quarter-finals in San Jose. That, along with third-round exits at Wimbledon and Montreal, has basically been it for the season as far as notable results go. 

Well, victory over Serena Williams will definitely count as notable, which is exactly what she will be trying to do on Friday night. 

"[We] bring out the best in each other. I know when I play her, I have to play some of my best tennis", Serena said. "She does, too. It propels us to continue to play that for the tournament. It sets a tone for us. I feel like throughout our career, we have pushed each other to be the best that we can be, and be Venus and Serena Williams."

Serena leads 17-12 on head to head, 10-5 in Grand Slam matches, but Venus won their most recent meeting at Indian Wells in March. But that was during Serena's first tournament since returning from maternity leave... 

A lot has changed since then, with Serena looking sharper and more confident, and she will be the fresher of the two sisters on Friday, having enjoyed a far smoother passage into the third round. 

I think the younger sibling will once again be too good for Venus on Friday night. 

Serena Williams vs Venus Williams is live from New York on Friday, 31 August from 7:00pm local time/ 12:00am BST

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Serena Williams vs Venus Williams US Open R3 Preview, Predictions and Live Stream: Serena and Venus meet for the 30th time

Serena Williams and Venus Williams meet for the 30th time with one of the sisters set to progress into the second week of the US Open. Who will win Serena-Venus XXX? Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online

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