Serena Williams battled into the quarterfinals of the US Open on Monday to keep alive her hopes of a record equalling 24 Grand Slam titles.
Williams had to summon up every last ounce of strength to depose Greek 15th seed Maria Sakkari in three hard-fought sets.
The 38-year-old American great needed almost two and a half hours to dislodge her 25-year-old Greek opponent 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3 inside an empty Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.
The American will play Tsvetana Pironkova for a place in the semifinals after the Bulgarian ousted France’s Alize Cornet in another draining three-setter.
In the men’s draw, second-seeded Dominic Thiem raced into the round of eight with a three-set demolition of Canadian rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Thiem dismantled the 20-year-old 15th seed 7-6 (7/4), 6-1, 6-1 in 2hr 7min.
The three-time major finalist will play Australia’s 21st seed Alex de Minaur for a spot in the semifinals after the Australian breezed past unseeded Canadian Vasek Pospisil 7-6 (8/6), 6-3, 6-2, in 2hr 17 min.
Third seed Daniil Medvedev blew away unseeded American France Tiafoe 6-4, 6-1, 6-0 in only 1hr 38 min.
He will now face compatriot Andrey Rublev for a spot in the last four after the 10th seed ousted Italy’s sixth seed Matteo Berrettini 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.