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1999 US Open

Flushing's final four

Williams sisters look to make it a family-friendly Friday

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Posted: Friday September 10, 1999 11:17 AM

  Venus and Serena Williams An all-Williams final could become a reality if Venus and Serena can win their semifinal matches. AP

NEW YORK (AP) -- Defending champion Lindsay Davenport and top-seeded Martina Hingis are the last obstacles to the first all-sister final in Grand Slam tournament history.

Since Richard Williams predicted daughters Venus and Serena would meet in the U.S. Open title match, 124 players have packed up their rackets and picked up their checks.

Serena Williams, at 17 the younger of the hair-beaded, power-hitting sisters, was to be the first to play spot in the final when she meets Davenport. The second semifinal pairs Venus Williams, 19, against the 18-year-old Hingis, who won her only U.S. Open singles title two years ago.

It marks the first time three teenagers have reached the final four since 1980, when Chris Evert was joined in the semifinals by Tracy Austin, Andrea Jaeger and Hana Mandlikova. And it is the first time three American-born players have gathered in the semis since Evert, Jaeger and Pam Shriver did it in 1982.

The pairings for the men's singles semis were completed Thursday when Cedric Pioline upset fifth-seeded Gustavo Kuerten 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (16-14), 7-6 (10-8) and No. 7 Todd Martin defeated Slava Dosedel 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.
Lindsay Davenport No laughing matter: Lindsay Davenport has won just one of three matches against Serena Williams. AP  

Saturday's other men's semifinal, which will be sandwiched around the women's final, will be between No. 2 Andre Agassi and No. 3 Yevgeny Kafelnikov.

"Lindsay hits the ball really hard. I hit the ball hard. It's going to be fun," said Serena Williams, who has a 2-1 career record over Davenport, winning their last two meetings. "It's pretty exciting for women's tennis."

Serena Williams has excited the crowds at the USTA National Tennis Center as she powered her way into a Grand Slam tournament semifinal for the first time.

Venus Williams has been there, done that as far as playing this late in one of the sport's four major tournaments. Her match against Hingis is a replay of the U.S. Open final two years ago when Hingis easily won in straight sets.

She has since reached at least the quarterfinals in seven of the past eight Grand Slam events, including the semifinals here a year ago.
  Martina Hingis Martina Hingis won her only U.S. Open singles title two years ago. AP

"Now it's Venus and Serena's time," said Monica Seles, ousted by Serena in the quarterfinals.

Anke Huber, who lost to Hingis in a wind-swept quarterfinal, agreed with Seles.

"I think it will be very, very close," Huber predicted. "It's going to be a tough match for Martina, I think. Venus is hitting the ball hard and very aggressive."

The sisters also were scheduled on the court later Friday in the doubles semifinals against Mary Pierce and Barbara Schett. The Williams girls advanced Thursday with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Mary Joe Fernandez and Seles.

In the first title to be decided at this year's Open, Ai Sugiyama of Japan and India's Mahesh Bhupathi won the mixed doubles, defeating Americans Kimberly Po and Donald Johnson 6-4, 6-4.

Bhupathi has a chance to win another title. He and partner Leander Paes are in Friday's men's doubles final against Sebastien Lareau and Alex O'Brien.

Related information
Slam-less Pioline, Martin reach Open semis
Mixed doubles champs crowned at U.S. Open
Serena, Davenport win thrillers to reach semis
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