The 37-year-old Williams might be in the twilight of a sparkling career, but given the opportunity she can still shine.

Venus Williams celebrates after match point against Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic on day nine of the US Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, USA.
Venus Williams celebrates after match point against Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic on day nine of the US Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, USA. (Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters)

Now 37-years-old and in the twilight of a sparkling career, the opportunities Venus Williams lives for are not supposed to come around as often as they once did.

But there Williams was on Tuesday battling and grabbing her chances when they came, capitalising on just enough of them to secure a 6-3 3-6 7-6(2) win over Petra Kvitova and a spot in the US Open semi-finals.

"Sometimes you have opportunities and sometimes you take them and you don't, but it's not like you get opportunity after opportunity after opportunity in these sorts of matches," said Williams. "You have to take the ones you have."

Williams has taken those words to heart in a renaissance season that has seen her reach the Australian Open and Wimbledon finals and sit just one victory away, against American compatriot Sloane Stephens, from playing for the US Open title for the first time since 2002.

It has been nine years since Williams celebrated the last of her seven grand slam singles wins and 16 since she last lifted the US Open title and remains as hungry for trophies as ever.

"I'm still living my dream, and it's amazing," said Williams.

It did not always seem like it on Tuesday, particularly during a fluctuating second set when Williams was unable to put away her 13th seeded opponent, who had beaten her four times in five meetings.

"You know, definitely when I had opportunities in the second set and so many break points disappearing, you feel like, wow, I should be doing more," said Williams. "You have to put it behind you."

"It's about winning the match you're in. Doesn't matter whether you're playing well or not playing well. It's about figuring out how to win."

"These big matches there have been times where I have won these and there have been times I didn't win them."

Williams has been winning much more than losing this year putting together a 34-10 match record.

But the records Williams is piling up now are the "oldest this" and "oldest that." Longevity brings its own recognition but winning remains the ultimate goal.

Life has moved on for Williams. Her sister Serena, a six-time US Open champion, is not in Flushing Meadows after giving birth to her first child and many of the players Williams is facing at the US Open grew up watching and idolizing her.

A role model, Williams led four American women into the quarter-finals and hopes all four will reach the semi-finals.

Williams and Stephens booked their places and on Wednesday CoCo Vandeweghe and Madison Keys will try to do the same.

"All I have known all my life was great American players," said Williams. "So it's great to see this resurgence, and I hope it can continue."

Other US Open highlights, day 9, Tuesday

South Africa's Kevin Anderson ended the run of local hope Sam Querrey with a 7-6(5) 6-7(9) 6-3 7-6(7) victory in three hours and 26 minutes.

In his first grand slam semi-final, Anderson faces another first-time major semi-finalist, Pablo Carreno Busta, who beat Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-4 6-4 6-2.

The 26-year-old Busta is yet to drop a set at the US Open this year.

American Sloane Stephens edged past 16th seeded Latvian Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 3-6 7-6(4) to book her place in the semi-finals.

Stephens became the first unseeded US woman to reach the final four at Flushing Meadows since Venus Williams in 1997.

Source: Reuters