Her sister Serena, a six-time US Open champion, is not in Flushing Meadows after giving birth to her first child and numerous players Williams is facing at the US Open grew up watching and idolizing her.
Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams entered the record books by becoming the oldest semi-finalist in US Open at age 37 after defeating two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/2) in the women's singles quarterfinals.
"I have to say I felt every single one of you guys behind me-all 23,000", Williams told the crowd afterward.
Sam: Petra Kvitova's return is one of the most remarkable stories of a chaotic 2017 and few saw her win over Garbine Muguruza coming.
She's already nearly all the way back to where she was before a foot injury suffered last summer required surgery in January.
"What she's gone through is unimaginable, unreasonable", Williams said.
Her return to such form so soon after that attack ensured she had equalled her best ever run in NY, and with a 4-1 head-to-head over the veteran Williams, Kvitova was now targeting another personal best, a first ever semi here.
The 37-year-old Williams and the 24-year-old Stephens both survived third-set tiebreak wins by near-identical scores Tuesday at the US Open.
Physical work could begin on the bike and Kvitova would play table tennis or badminton with her right hand, until she was finally able to hit tennis balls with her left hand after three months. The American may have to take her time to feel her way into the match against a very scrappy but awkward opponent.
Kvitova got the early advantage to break for 3-1, but Williams then served to love and broke right back. Thos match meant a lot to me, obviously, playing at home and of course it being a major.
Williams will play fellow American Sloane Stephens in the semifinals and the possibility remains for an All-American semis. This may finally prove to be her year, beating two seeded players and dispatching Vinci and Barty in straight sets.
"Life is still a little bit unusual, but it's getting better as well", she admitted this week.
Able to summon big strokes when it mattered most, Stephens reached the final four at Flushing Meadows for the first time by edging 16th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (4) for her deepest run at any major since 2013.
"I think Venus is just our leader", Stephens said of the relationship between the American players. I didn't really play these kind of great players so far in the season when I came back. "But being injured gave me a whole new perspective on tennis, on life, and just in general". It took her five years before she managed to reach another Slam semi-final.
She was one of four US women in the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows, the most since five made it that far 15 years ago.
"I'm still living my dream, and it's fantastic", said Williams. That feels incredible. I didn't want to let you guys down.
Kvitova is playing only her eighth event of the year after recovering from the assault last December that is still under investigation by Czech police. She had an open court for her forehand, but she missed it in the net.
"She has something special which the other players don't have. So I know that so I am going to try to take it".
She is just one victory away from playing for the US Open title for the first time since 2002.
By the way, how awesome is Venus Williams?
"I don't have words to describe", she said. "And then, yeah, look, there, semifinal, semifinal, semifinal".
Her ranking was No. 934 before this recent streak of success.
Carreno Busta, the first player in any Grand Slam to face four qualifiers, cruised into his first Grand Slam semi-final by ousting Argentine 29th seed Diego Schartzman 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. She came from behind to knock out Elina Svitolina late Tuesday night, demonstrating she wants to hoist the trophy as bad as her compatriots do.
'I'm not a robot. I think both of us had to go through a tiebreaker today.