Serena Williams powers into the US Open semi-finals

Serena, who fell at the quarter-finals stage three times at US Open, in 2000 (l. Davenport), 2004 (l. Capriati) and 2007 (l. Henin), Serena A completed her 172nd career Top 10 win, the first of which came over No.7 Pierce at 1997 Chicago, her 21st at US Open.

Williams had trailed 4-2 in the first set but ran out a comfortable 6-4 6-3 victor on Tuesday night.

Defending U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens was dumped out in the quarter-finals after losing 6-2 6-3 to Latvian 19th seed Anastasija Sevastova in sweltering conditions.

Serena Williams of the United States returns the ball during the women's singles quarter-final match against Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic on Day Nine of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 4, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.

Williams served out the match with three aces and an overhead to put an exclamation point on a win to avenge her most recent loss at the Open in the 2016 semifinals.

The six-time U.S. champion won eight games in a row - four at the end of the first and four at the start of the second - to help her secure victory in one hour 26 minutes. "I'm just on my way on the tour and doing the best I can".

It took five deuces for Williams to finally hold her serve, it was clear at this point that advantage was in the Czech's favour with Williams having to work a lot harder.

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She'll face 20-year-old Naomi Osaka, who became the first Japanese woman in 22 years to reach a Grand Slam semi-final with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Lesia Tsurenko.

Stephens was ranked 83rd in the world when she upset Sevastova in three sets at the same stage previous year, trailing by a break in the third set before winning it in a tiebreaker.

"Well, I want to just be able to get past the semis here".

Williams, the only grand slam victor left in the women's draw, now faces Anastasija Sevastova in the last four on Thursday.

Gauff received a wild card this year into the qualifiers for the main draw at Flushing Meadows, but lost 6-4, 6-1 to Heather Watson of England. "Even when I did have my break opportunities, I just wasn't playing the points well at all", Stephens, who beat Sevastova during a U.S. Open tune-up in Montreal last month, told reporters. "So I thought, 'I gotta try harder.' So thank you (fans) so much". "Shocking, my first top-10 win", said Williams. "It's been a few, couple, rough semis for me", Williams said. He committed back-to-back double faults to fall behind 4-1, and he eventually lost on another error.

"The crowd was really for me and I felt so bad that I wasn't winning", she said. 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.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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