Venus Williams refused to bow out late in the second set of her Friday night showdown with her sister, Serena, but it was the younger of the two siblings that owned the evening as a whole, advancing past the US Open’s Round of 32 with a 6-1, 6-2 rout.

Playing against each other for the first time since the 2017 Australian Open final, the Williams sisters sought different steps forward on Friday — Venus attempting to redeem a tough 2018 campaign and Serena pursuing a second straight Grand Slam final appearance after her loss at Wimbledon. The latter saw her sister claw back into contention after a second double fault, but her ninth ace then set up a decisive string of serves to seal the victory.

As The Guardian put it, Serena actually had more unforced errors (22) than Venus (18) during the match, with three double faults to zero on the other end — but “Venus was left grimacing after each of her errors because she had to be flawless to beat Serena on this night.”

Earlier in the day, No. 3 Sloane Stephens, the highest remaining seed in the women’s draw at the US Open, defeated Victoria Azarenka on Friday to advance to the fourth round of the tournament. Stephens, now the highest seed remaining after Caroline Wozniacki’s stunning elimination Thursday, will square off against Elise Mertens in the next round.

This third-round appearance is the best of Azarenka’s season, while Stephens is trying to get back into French Open form. She was knocked out in the first round of both the Australian Open and Wimbledon, so she’s looking to close the season on a strong note.

On the men’s side, Rafael Nadal, Kevin Anderson and John Isner are all in action Friday. Isner survived a five-set marathon with Nicolas Jarry, whereas Anderson cruised in the second round after surviving a five-set scare against Ryan Harrison in the first. Nadal has met very little in the way of resistance to this point.

Mertens notched the first win of the day on Friday, defeating Barbora Strycova in straight sets. Anastasija Sevastova also hung in against Ekaterina Makarova, taking the match in three sets after dropping the first. Elina Svitolina continued her dominance with another sweep, this one coming over Wang Qiang.

For the men, Dominic Thiem received a scare by dropping the first set to Taylor Fritz, but he stormed back to win in four. Nikoloz Basilashvili looked solid against Guido Pella, only stumbling in the third set.

Men’s results

  • No. 9 Dominic Thiem defeats Taylor Fritz 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-4
  • No. 1 Rafael Nadal defeats No. 27 Karen Khachanov 5-7, 7-5, 7-6, 7-6
  • No. 5 Kevin Anderson defeats No. 28 Denis Shapovalov 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
  • No. 9 Dominic Thiem defeats Taylor Fritz 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-4
  • No. 11 John Isner defeats Dusan Lajovic 7-6, 6-7, 6-3, 7-5
  • Nikoloz Basilashvili defeats Guido Pella 6-3, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6

Women’s results

  • No. 3 Sloane Stephens defeats Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 6-4
  • No. 17 Serena Williams defeats No. 16 Venus Williams 6-1, 6-2
  • No. 7 Elina Svitolina defeats Wang Qiang 6-4, 6-4
  • No. 15 Elise Mertens defeats Barbora Strycova 6-3, 7-6
  • No. 19 Anastasija Sevastova defeats Ekaterina Makarova 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
  • Kaia Kanepi defeats Rebecca Peterson 6-3, 7-6

Men’s matchups

  • No. 3 Juan Martin del Potro No. 31 Fernando Verdasco — 8:15 p.m. ET
  • No. 20 Borna Coric vs. Daniil Medvedev — 5 p.m. ET
  • No. 25 Milos Raonic vs. Stan Wawrinka — 7 p.m. ET

Women’s matchups

  • No. 8 Karolina Pliskova vs. Sofia Kenin — 9 p.m. ET
  • No. 18 Ashleigh Barty vs. Karolina Muchova — 5:05 p.m. ET


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