Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Tsvetana Pironkova on Tuesday scripted history by becoming the first trio of mothers ever to reach the quarterfinals of the same Grand Slam. There were a lot of memorable moments from the court to cheer on but the three winner moms have certainly made the US Open 2020 the "Mother of all Grand Slams".
"For the first time in Grand Slam history, three moms are into the quarterfinal. 1. Serena Williams 2. Victoria Azarenka 3. Tsvetana Pironkova," US Open tweeted after they have each booked their spots in the quarterfinals of the ongoing tournament.
For the first time in Grand Slam history, three moms are into the quarterfinal.— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 8, 2020
1. Serena Williams
2. Victoria Azarenka
3. Tsvetana Pironkova
It was an easy match for Williams on Monday. She cruised into the quarterfinals after securing a win over Maria Sakkari. She registered a 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3 victory over No.15 seed Sakkari to advance in the competition.
Williams is being hailed as a favourite in the tournament. She is eyeing to win her 24th Grand Slam title which would put her equal to Margaret Court's record for the most grand slam titles won by a female player. The 38-year-old is also the oldest among the aforementioned quarterfinalists. Azarenka and Pironkova are 31 and 32 respectively, ANI reported.
Williams shared an adorable moment with her three-year-old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr after her match on Saturday. Playing for her 100th win on Arthur Ashe Stadium and her 53rd Grand Slam quarter, Williams was cheered on by daughter along with partner Alexis Ohanian Sr.
The viral clip shows her daughter, Alexis sitting on her father’s lap cheering for her mother:
During an interview, after winning the match, former world number one and third seed Williams spoke about her daughter and husband being there for her. She said, “I hope that she saw her mama fighting.”
“I would never have thought I would be playing as a mom and the plus is that one day your daughter can say she was there. Whether she remembers or not, we can always have pictures," added the mother who won her 23rd Grand Slam singles title in Australia while being pregnant.
Pironkova extended her record to 105 wins to just 13 losses at a major play at Flushing Meadows on Monday. She is married to a former Bulgarian football player Mihail Mirchev. Their son Alexander was born in 2018.
Pironkova has reportedly not seen her son in two weeks. The Bulgarian advanced to her first-ever quarter-final in New York on Monday. Her last tournament was at Wimbledon in 2017 and the unranked 32-year-old secured her place in the draw with a protected ranking given to players who take a maternity break. She claimed the victory against two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza and 18th seed Donna Vekic to advance in the game. On Monday, Pironkova battled against France's Alize Cornet 6-4 6-7(5) 6-3 in the last-16.
Talking about missing her kid, she said, "I haven’t seen him in two weeks. It’s very tough, it gets tougher every day. I know he’s watching me and I know he’s proud of me - and it’s worth it."
“There was a time, maybe for one and a half, two years after I became a mum, where I didn't really picture coming back to the tour at all,” Pironkova said.
Another former World No. 1, Azarenka reached the US Open quarterfinals for the first time since 2015 after defeating Czech's Karolina Muchova 5-7, 6-1, 6-4. She is the mother of three-year-old Leo. “I’m so proud of the ladies. It’s incredible. I’m just really happy to see that. I hope we all keep going as far as possible. It’s inspiring. I hope it’s inspiring for other women that they continue to go for their dreams and don’t only identify as mothers but continue to do what they want to do,” Azarenka said on ESPN after winning the match on Monday.
Azarenka gave birth to her son in December 2016.
Till now, only three women have ever won grand slams after becoming mothers in the 50 years of the Open Era - Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong and Kim Clijsters.