Serena Williams’s march towards a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title gathered momentum as she routed Qiang Wang in just 44 minutes to advance to the US Open semifinals.
The American was not troubled one bit by the right ankle she rolled in her previous match and she didn’t get much resistance from her opponent either – dropping just one game.
Williams, a six-times US Open champion, will face fifth seed Elina Svitolina for a berth in the final.
She owns their head-to-head series 4-1 but lost her most recent meeting with Svitolina, more than three years ago at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
With boyfriend Gael Monfils watching in the stands, a day before he plays his quarterfinal, Svitolina reached her second straight Grand Slam semifinal by beating Briton Johanna Konta 6-4 6-4 in the day’s opening match.
Looking dominant as can be, Williams moved freely and powered her way past the 18th-seeded Wang 6-1 6-0 in the shortest match of the year to claim her 100th victory at Flushing Meadows – just one shy of Chris Evert’s record.
Williams admitted she can’t get enough after joining the US Open’s exclusive 100-club.
“It’s really unbelievable, literally, because from when I first started here, I think I was 16, I never thought I’d get to 100,” said Williams, who won the first of her six Open titles in 1999.
“It never even crossed my mind or I would still be out here. But I love what I do. Love coming out in front of you guys, it’s so special. It is. I never want to let it go.”
If she beats Svitolina, Williams is assured of playing a first-time Grand Slam finalist for the title.
But after losing to Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber in the past two Wimbledon finals and to Naomi Osaka last year in the championship decider at Flushing Meadows, Williams said she’d learnt not to be complacent no matter who she faced.
“Going in I’ve got to be ready for anything and everything,” Williams said in her pursuit of Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 majors that the Australian has held since 1973.
“Physically, I’m feeling great.”
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