Serena Williams extended her improbable run at her final US Open with another unexpected win over world number two Annet Kontaveit.

Williams, who had won just two matches this year prior to her encounter with Kontaveit outlasted the Estonian 7-6(4) 2-6 6-2 in an absorbing two-hour and 27-minute contest.

The 40-year-old displayed the tenacity that landed her 23 grand slam titles as she continues to chase Margret Court’s record of 24 one last time.

Williams claimed the first break of the game to go 5-4 up before being broken immediately and needing to win the tiebreaker to claim the first set.

Kontaveit, whose game is built for hardcourts stormed back in the second before Serena Williams swung the momentum again in the decider, leading 4-1 after break exchanges and never letting go.

Standing between Williams and a fairytale ending next is Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic who beat Russia’s Evgeniya Rodina 1-6 6-2 7-5. If the American continues to feed off the crowd which willed her on to victory again, she just may achieve the impossible.

Meanwhile, in other matches, Maria Sakkari became the latest big-name player to fall in the women’s draw. The Greek was beaten 6-3, 5-7, 5-7 by China’s Wang Xiyu.

Ons Jabeur, the Wimbledon finalist, had no trouble overcoming Elizabeth Mandlik 7-5, 6-2 while Ludmilla Samsonova eliminated US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez 6-3, 7-6.

Caroline Garcia and Coco Gauff also reached the next round safely.

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