Venus had won their most recent meeting, in Montreal last summer, but Serena extended her head-to-head advantage to 15-11.
Serena Williams stands three wins away from hoisting her fourth successive grand slam title after trumping elder sister Venus 6-4, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon yesterday.
“It’s never easy to play someone you love and care about”, said the world’s number one.
Following the pattern of their matches, which started 17 years ago in Australia, Serena was far less demonstrative than when fighting back to beat Heather Watson in the previous round. “I thought, “I’m 33 and she’s 35, ‘” she said”.
She said: “It’s been six years since we played each other“. I just wanted to take the moment in.
While Serena, Sharapova and Azarenka have 27 Grand Slam titles between them, there are no major winners at all in the bottom half of the draw, where 13th seed Radwanska is the highest-ranking player still standing after Caroline Wozniacki crashed out. Azarenka beat 18-year-old Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 6-2, 6-3.
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Now Serena is left to pursue her Grand Slam dreams.
Fourth seed Maria Sharapova, the 2004 champion, faces Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan for a spot in the quarterfinals. The Belarusian faces USA 21st seed Madison Keys.
Azarenka believes the love-torn and injury-hit two years that forced her to “mature very quickly” can inspire a first Grand Slam victory over Williams in the second match on Centre Court.
“I definitely am the type of person that likes to have a laugh at themselves, especially when it looks like I have done something stupidly ridiculous”, the 23-year-old said. “That happens. But overall I just enjoy it”.
What it means: Serena keeps her chase of the calendar Grand Slam alive, having won the Australian and French Opens.
Familial ties did not soften the momentum of the Serena juggernaut as the five-times Wimbledon champion saw off Venus in one hour and eight minutes.
Richard Gasquet held off 20-year-old Australian Nick Kyrgios 7-5, 6-1, 6-7 (7) 7-6 (6) to advance to the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time since making it to the semifinals in 2007. Hopefully, Serena thought, there will be more Centre Court matches between the sisters in the future, and perhaps even deeper into the fortnight in summers to come, but who can be certain? It was uncharacteristic considering her dominant play in the first week.
Djokovic and Anderson will come back on Tuesday to conclude their match.
Pospisil – last year’s doubles champion alongside American Jack Sock – rallied from two sets down to overcome Viktor Troicki 4-6 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-3 6-3 two days after seeing off British wildcard James Ward 8-6 in the fifth. They have met twice before at Wimbledon, with Serena prevailing at the same stage in 2009, and in the 2012 semi-finals.