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Serena Williams defeats Karolina Pliskova, reaches US Open semis

08 September, 2018, 04:14 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • Serena Williams rolls into US Open semifinals

Stephens looked a step behind from the start of the match and failed to convert seven break points in the first set against Sevastova, which put her in a unsafe position against a woman who entered the match having broken her opponent's serve a tournament-leading 23 times.

Spain's double Grand Slam victor Garbine Murgurza was next to go, making a second round exit, and then earlier on Tuesday Williams side-stepped a semi-final showdown with third seed Sloane Stephens when the defending champion was sent packing by Anastasija Sevastova.

Six-time US Open champion, Serena Williams reached the semi-finals of the US Open for the 13th time after defeating world No.8, Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-3 in the quarter-finals at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, New York.

Williams closed out the match in style, winning a service game at love with two aces, an overhead smash and another ace.

Williams is only playing her eighth tournament since becoming a mum, but had only dropped one set - in her last-16 match against Latvia's Kaia Kanepi - on her way to the last eight. "I was thinking, you know, I can play better, so that was the good news".

The Latvian, who retired from tennis five years ago due to injuries and illness before returning in 2015, can expect another stern challenge on Thursday, in the form of 23-time grand slam singles champion Williams or Pliskova, another former world number one.

Williams is also aiming for a first Grand Slam title since giving birth to her daughter past year. "So no matter what happens in any match — semis, finals — I just feel like I've already won".

In the final at Flushing Meadows, Vandweghe and Barty will face the No. 2 seeds, Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos, who eliminated Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the semifinals. But as Williams started to find her groove she held and then broke serve to tie it 4-4. In that match, Williams couldn't overcome a slow start, never recovered her nerves, never did what she was able to do Tuesday night. Tough loss past year.

Serena Williams began her US Open quarter-final tentatively. Williams wobbled again in the second set but served her way out of trouble before clinching a 6-4 6-3 victory.

"Still long way to go, I think", she said.

The Pliskova match marks Serena's first Top-10 win of her comeback.

After the match Williams said she had taken confidence from the backing of a partisan crowd, which included Billie Jean King, actor Michael Keaton and director Spike Lee.

At this level, at this stage of the tournament, Sevastova is going to have her work cut out for her. "I don't think there's any change with her game", Pliskova said.

This will be Williams' 36th appearance in a Grand Slam semifinal (30-5). Add that to her usual powerful baseline game and always superb serve, which reached 120 miles per hour (194 kph), and this really was no contest at all.



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