NEW YORK, Sept 6: Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams became the oldest semifinalist in US Open history at age 37 by defeating two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/2).
US ninth seed Williams, seeking her third US Open crown, advanced to a Thursday matchup for a spot in Saturday�s final against 83rd-ranked compatriot Sloane Stephens.
Stephens, who missed 11 months with a left foot injury before returning at Wimbledon, matched her best Grand Slam showing by outlasting Latvian 16th seed Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/4).
Williams, who improved to 2-4 all-time against the Czech 13th seed, will return to the world top five for the first time since January 2011 after dominating the tie-break.
�I�m so fortunate to have won that match. It came down to the wire,� Williams said. �I try to tell myself enjoy the competition, enjoy the battle and I think I was able to do that.�
Williams, the oldest Slam semifinalist since Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon in 1994, won the 2000 and 2001 US crowns.
She was runner-up this year at Wimbledon and the Australian Open and could reach three Slam finals in a year for the first time since 2002.
Kvitova battled back from a five-month absence after a knife-wielding home intruder injured her left hand last December.
Williams swatted a backhand winner to break for a 5-3 edge and held to take the first set but Kvitova led 3-0 when rain forced a closure of the Arthur Ashe Stadium roof.
Kvitova fought off two break points in the fifth and seventh games to hold on the way to a third set, then broke to lead 2-1 only to double fault away a break to set up the tie-breaker.
If Americans Madison Keys and CoCo Vanderweghe win on Wednesday, they will produce the first all-American US Open semifinals since 1981.
�That would be huge,� Williams said. �I�d love that.�
�This is amazing,� Stephens said. �I hope there are four Americans in the semifinals.�
Spanish 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta, who has not dropped a set, cruised into his first Grand Slam semifinal by defeating Argentine 29th seed Diego Schartzman 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.
Carreno Busta, the first player to face four qualifiers in any Grand Slam, booked a Friday semifinal against South African 28th seed Kevin Anderson who defeated 17th-seeded American Sam Querrey 7-6(5), 6-7(9), 6-3, 7-6(7).
�Incredible,� Carreno Busta said. �It�s something that I always dreamed about but something I never thought was going to arrive here. It�s a great feeling.�
While legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are each one win from their first US Open meeting in an epic semifinal, this side of the men�s draw is guaranteed to produce a first-time Slam finalist.
�It would be fantastic to play him in the final,� Carreno Busta said of Nadal. �But we have to play step by step.�
Stephens has won 13 of her past 15 matches and matched her 2013 Australian Open semifinal run for best Slam effort.
�This is just incredible,� Stephens said. �When I started my comeback at Wimbledon I could never have dreamed of coming back and having these results. It�s indescribable.�
Sevastova, who matched her best major run from last year at New York by ousting Maria Sharapova to reach the last eight, led 3-1 in the third set before Stephens rallied.
�I just told myself to keep fighting and stay consistent,� Stephens said. � AFP