MONTRÉAL, Canada - Venus Williams kept her Canadian breakthrough going on Friday, battling past Carla Suárez Navarro to make the semifinals of the Rogers Cup - and set up an absolute blockbuster semifinal clash with Serena Williams, the milestone 25th career meeting between the WTA legends.
Less than 24 hours after an extremely high quality third round win over No.6 seed Angelique Kerber, which many have called the match of the tournament, Williams looked slightly off her game late in the first set against Suárez Navarro, dropping five straight games from 4-3 up to fall behind 6-4, 2-0.
But that's when the seven-time Grand Slam champion and former No.1 kicked into high gear, reeling off 10 of the next 11 games to take the second set, 6-2, and go up in the third, 4-1. And though Suárez Navarro caught back up to 4-3 and even had two points to even it at 4-all, Williams held on, winning the next two games to put the finishing touches on a two-hour-and-11-minute grinder, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
The Williams sisters will play for the 25th time - Serena leads Venus in the head-to-head, 14-10.
"I definitely don't like playing her - I think I've lost to her more than anyone else on the tour," Serena said. "So it's definitely not a fun match for me, to be honest. But she's tough. She has a great serve. She runs every ball down. She has a great backhand. She hits winners off the forehand.
"She just does everything well, so it's not an ideal match-up for anyone, to be honest."
In spite of all that, Serena is happy to see Venus doing so well.
"I definitely feel great when I see her playing so well," Serena said. "Obviously not when it's time for me to play her, but other than that it's always really good to see her playing really well!"
"I have to play well. That's pretty much it," Venus said. "There's no secret or science to it. I think that's anyone who has gotten any wins against her, they've pretty much played the match of their life.
"Hopefully I won't have to play the match of my life. That's tough. But I need to play well."
And how will big sister spend the night before the match?
"I'm actually going to dance a little bit. I actually am," she said.
"It's very relaxing for me. I love to dance. Not at a club - I just do a little jazz and a little ballet. I'm not great, but I love to dance. I'll just dance a little and see what happens!"
When asked to elaborate, Venus did.
"I can't get into the details, but it's like Fame. Have you ever seen that? It's just like that."