NEW YORK, NEW YORK РSEPTEMBER 05: Serena Williams of the United States celebrates winning her Women’s Singles third round match against Sloane Stephens of the United States on Day Six of the 2020 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 05, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP

Serena Williams overcame an early scare to defeat fellow American Sloane Stephens and move into the last 16 of the US Open on Saturday.

Williams, the third seed, lost the first set convincingly before rallying to dominate the next two, triumphing 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 inside a near-empty Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The 38-year-old, gunning for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title, will play Greece’s 15th seed Maria Sakkari for a place in the quarter-finals.

With spectators barred from this year’s Flushing Meadows event due to the coronavirus pandemic, several top players took advantage of suites they have been assigned to watch two of their rivals in action.

Sofia Kenin and Naomi Osaka — the second and fourth seeds respectively — took in the three-setter, as did the fifth seed in the men’s draw, German Alexander Zverev, who could be seen munching on sushi.

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