Six-time champion Serena Williams fought back from a slow start to beat fellow American Sloane Stephens and reach the last 16 of the US Open.

Williams, chasing a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, came from a set down to oust 2017 champion Sloane Stephens 2-6, 6-2, 6-2, in what she called an “intense” encounter on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“It was intense, we always have some incredible matches,” she said.

Williams, aiming for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title, faces Greek 15th seed Maria Sakkari next.

Sakkari, 25, beat Williams in the three sets at the Western and Southern Open last week.

The Greek player, who stunned Williams at the Western & Southern Open last month, progressed with a 6-3, 6-1 dismantling of America’s 22nd seed Amanda Anisimova.

Now she has a chance to quickly avenge the loss after showing her fighting qualities against 2017 champion Stephens.



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