sport news Serena Williams leads charge of the super mums at US Open as she chases 24th ...

An unusual statistic attaching itself to this unusual US Open is that three of the women who made it through to the last sixteen are mothers.

Far more expected is that one of them is Serena Williams, who in the quest for a 24th Grand Slam title will now be facing one stiff test after another.

Having stayed calm to see off Sloane Stephens on Saturday night her next assignment is against Greece's Maria Sakkari, who defeated her in the week leading up to this fortnight.

Serena Williams is one of three mothers to reach the last 16 of the US Open this year

Serena Williams is one of three mothers to reach the last 16 of the US Open this year

There was a time recently on the WTA Tour when playing Mums were a distinct rarity, but nine of them started out in this singles draw.

The other two survivors are Victoria Azarenka and, most surprisingly, Tsvetana Pironkova. Before this the 32 year-old Bulgarian had not even played a tournament since Wimbledon 2017, and used maternity rules to gain direct entry.

Pironkova, who now plays France's Alize Cornet, is based in the official hotel, while the American superstar has a private house for the duration.

Belarusian star Victoria Azarenka is another one of the survivors at Flushing Meadows

Belarusian star Victoria Azarenka is another one of the survivors at Flushing Meadows

Williams, mother to Olympia, has been pleased to be in the company of many in a similar family situation.

'I'm so happy that there are so many moms in the event, obviously because I'm one,' she said. 'The plus is that one day your daughter can say she was there, whether she remembers or not, we can always have pictures.

'But other than that, it's just minus, like, I'm not with her, I'm not around her. It's hard, because I spend a tremendous amount of time with her.'

While Olympia is staying with her, it is clear that Williams is trying to shut out all the potential distractions crowding in on the US Open, in her bid for the title.

She keeps her answers notably

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