Sat | Dec 10, 2016

Australian Open tennis

Published:Tuesday | January 27, 2015 | 12:00 AM
AP Venus Williams of the United States celebrates after winning over Agnieszka Radwanska.
AP Serena Williams of the United States celebrates a point won against Garbine Muguruza of Spain.
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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP):

The Williams sisters are back in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam. Together. At the same time.

Venus Williams continued her impressive career resurgence at the Australian Open with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 win over sixth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska last night, reaching the last eight at a major for the first time since the 2010 US Open.

Younger sister, Serena Williams, was supporting her and cheering for her from the stands at Rod Laver Arena, just hours after she had to dig deep for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 comeback win over Garbine Muguruza on the same court.

After Venus' match on Rod Laver, Djokovic beat Gilles Muller 6-4, 7-5, 7-5 to advance to his 23rd consecutive quarter-final in a Grand Slam tournament - a feat which appears to dwarf Venus Williams' first in nearly five years - unless you're Venus.

The sisters haven't both advanced this far at a major since Serena won Wimbledon in 2010, their careers seemingly veering off at opposite trajectories.

Serena has won five Grand Slam titles in the interim, lifting her tally to 18, while seven-time major winner Venus has laboured for years since being diagnosed in 2011 with Sjogren's syndrome, which causes fatigue and inflammation. She'd only been beyond the third round once at a Grand Slam event since the start of 2011 and many thought she'd never return to the last eight. Even so, she's not getting too excited four wins into a tournament.

'focused and poised'

"I guess, from the outside looking in, I guess it could look like that," the seven-time major winner said. "But, for me, I'm just really focused and poised right now. I feel like I've been here before, so it's not like I'm jumping up and down for joy, 'Oh, shoot, what is this? I've never done this.'

"Yes, I've done this. This is what I'm always going into each tournament thinking I want to do. Now is my moment and I want to keep this moment going all year."

The 34-year-old Venus next faces Madison Keys, a 19-year-old American who was inspired to play tennis by watching the Williams sisters.

Serena was motivated by a Grand Slam loss that stung her more than any last year in her match against No. 24-seeded Muguruza, who had conceded only four games to her in a second-round upset at the 2014 French Open.

"She made me play a lot better," Serena Williams said. "I had to play the best match of the tournament or else I was going to be out."

The five-time Australian Open winner next faces Dominika Cibulkova, who reproduced the kind of tennis that took her to the final here last year as she beat two-time champion Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. Keys advanced to her first Grand Slam quarter-final with a 6-2, 6-4 win over good friend and fellow American Madison Brengle.

"It's a huge opportunity for me. I'm going to make the most of it," she said. "I want Io be at the end of the tournament holding the trophy up. That's my goal in the long run."

Defending champion Stan Wawrinka beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6 (2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (8) to move into the men's quarter-finals, where he'll play US Open finalist Kei Nishikori, who had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 9 David Ferrer. No. 8 Milos Raonic advanced with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-3 win over No. 12 Feliciano Lopez to reach the last eight in Australia for the first time.