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With No Crowd, Serena Williams Rallies Herself to Reach U. S. Open Quarterfinals


Her win over Maria Sakkari was her 100th at Arthur Ashe Stadium, the most of any player.
Arthur Ashe Stadium was nearly empty, but it was not quiet at the United States Open on a day which would have normally been a hectic Labor Day holiday. Serena Williams, who has been bolstered by the support of thousands of boisterous fans here over the years, was her own chorus on Monday as she pushed herself to a victory over Maria Sakkari,6-3,6-7 (6),6-3 in the fourth round of the U. S. Open. “I’m always going to bring that fire and that passion and that Serena to the court,” said Williams, who has been referring to herself in the third person perhaps more than ever during this tournament. She screamed when she lost points; she screamed when she won points. At one crucial moment, she even made a loud noise when one of Sakkari’s first serves landed in the net. “I don’t feel like I’m super different without a crowd, but I’m super passionate,” Williams said after the match. “This is my job. This is what I wake up to do. This is what I train to do 365 days of the year.” Though her intensity was the same, Williams said in an on-court interview after the match that she felt “less pressure” without thousands of fans there desperate for her to win.

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