Serena sets up Sloane clash
A review of the rest of the women's action on day five of the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
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Serena Williams will play fellow American Sloane Stephens in the standout tie of the fourth round at the US Open after defeating Yaroslava Shvedova in a late-night match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The five-set epic between Lleyton Hewitt and Juan Martin del Potro had held up defending champion Williams, but she was not detained too much longer by Shvedova.
The Kazakh competed well but found Williams too strong when it really mattered as the world number one triumphed 6-3 6-1 in an hour and 14 minutes.
Shvedova is most famous for her 'golden set' against Sara Errani at Wimbledon last year, where she won all 24 points in the first set.
She went on to face Williams at the All England Club and gave her a really tough match, which the American only won 7-5 in the third.
This was not as close, with Williams always in control after breaking serve for the first time for 3-2 in the opening set.
It was gone 1am when she clinched victory on her third match point, and she thanked the sizeable crowd for sticking it out.
She said: "I don't think I've ever played this late so it's a really good surprise."
It will be the second time Williams and Stephens have met at a grand slam, and the match will be given an extra edge by the younger woman's victory in the quarter-finals at the Australian Open.
Williams had been described as a mentor to 20-year-old Stephens, but the world number 16 debunked that in a highly-critical interview a couple of months later.
Stephens criticised Williams for snubbing her in the wake of that match, but cleared the air with her countrywoman and the two have been very complimentary of each other since.
Williams said: "It's going to be tough, Sloane is playing so well. I'm always so happy for her. Regardless, there's definitely going to be one American in the quarters and I'm really excited about that and proud of Sloane. It will be a really good match."
Stephens had earlier cruised past another compatriot Jamie Hampton 6-1 6-3.
Asked after that match what she learned from the fallout from the interview, Stephens said: "Stay true to yourself, and that's all you can do. A lot of lessons learned. I don't regret anything and I'm happy where I'm at right now."
The 20-year-old added of Williams: "I love her. She's a great competitor, one of the best players to ever play the game.
"I just love how she's so competitive. She's going to bring it to you every single time. I love her fight. It's just nice to get out there and watch her."
Meanwhile, third seed Agnieszka Radwanska booked her place in the last 16 - but didn't have things all her own way.
The Polish star was given a decent workout by 32nd seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, but emerged from it a 6-4 7-6 (7/1) winner.
Radwanska, who made the Wimbledon final last season but has never been beyond the fourth round in New York, was the more consistent player, making just 15 unforced errors to her opponent's 41.
She said: "I'm very happy that I won another match in two sets. Of course it was tough, two tight sets. It was just by a couple of points.
"But definitely I played very good in the tie-break. I was really focused from the beginning, and I just wanted to win the tie-break very much.
"Of course I will do everything to make the quarter-final this year.
"I like hardcourt and I really had great results on that surface. I think it's just something wrong here that I can't pass the fourth round. This is another opportunity, so I will try my best.''
Next up for Radwanska, when she looks to reach the quarter-finals for the first time, will be a clash with Russian Ekaterina Makarova.
Makarova saw off this year's Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki 6-4 7-5 on the Grandstand Court.
Eighth and ninth seeds Angelique Kerber and Jelena Jankovic also progressed.
Kerber has bad memories of Kaia Kanepi after losing to the Estonian from a set and 5-1 up in the second-set tie-break at Wimbledon but the German avenged that defeat in style, winning 6-0 6-4.
Jankovic was given a tougher workout by Japan's Kurumi Nara before winning 6-4 7-6 (7/5).