Sports

Serena Survives, Advances To US Open Semifinals

Serena Survives, Advances To US Open Semifinals”

Serena Williams fought through a challenging match-up on Arthur Ashe stadium last evening with Karolina Pliskova to set up her fourth US Open semi-final.

Sevastova, who retired from tennis in 2013 due to injuries before returning in 2015, almost let Stephens into the match in the second set as the American twice pulled back on serve at 2-1 and again at 4-3, but the fightback proved short-lived.

Williams was on track to meet defending champion Sloane Stephens in the semi-finals but her third-seeded countrywoman was dumped out of the tournament via a 6-2, 6-3 loss to 19th seed Anastasija Sevastova.

Williams, a six-time victor here and 23-time Grand Slam singles champion, trailed early when Pliskova broke her serve and took a 2-1 lead in the first set.

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

The second semi-final sees 2017 runner-up Madison Keys face Japan's Naomi Osaka, who is making her first appearance in a Grand Slam semi-final.

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Pliskova, who seized the world number one ranking herself briefly previous year, said that even though Williams is still rebuilding her world ranking, she's playing more like her old number one self than a number 17. She's just going to ace you or play the best points on your chances.

Just over a year removed from the birth of her daughter, Williams is looking for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam championship.

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.

Maybe. But that didn't last long as the 36-year-old American advanced to the last four of the US Open for the 12th time.

It was a nervy start from Williams, who after saving two break points in her second service game found the net on the third to hand her Czech opponent an early break.

"I hope I will enjoy it, playing semi-finals".

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Williams fell behind early, and looked visibly frustrated in the first few games after several errors. Tough loss a year ago. Now, she has not only made it to her maiden grand slam quarterfinal, but she also became the first Latvian woman to make it to the US Open semifinal.

Little danger seemed apparent for Williams when Pliskova clawed one break back for 4-1, only for the tension to grow when the world number eight moved 40-0 ahead on the American's serve in the seventh game. It's been a couple of rough ones for me, ' she said'.

After defeating Karolina Pliskova, Williams will now meet 19th-seeded Sevastova in the semifinals.

"Today I just really couldn't get anything to connect".

"When you don't play big points well, the match can get away from you", she said. "I think she lost also her nerves a little bit, it's normal". But she has never played Williams.

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