- Drubs Sevastova 6-3, 6-0 in 66 mins
- Plays Japan’s Naomi Osaka in final
In her best elements, 23 Grand Slam winner, Serena Williams has another opportunity to win her first Grand Slam title since giving birth to daughter Olympia last September.
Beaten by Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon final in July, Williams took just 66 minutes to dispatch 19th seeded Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 6-0 in their US Open semi-final at Flushing Meadows
The 36-year-old will now play Naomi Osaka in Saturday’s final after the 20th seeded Japanese dusted American Madison Keys in the other semi-final tie.
And victory on Saturday will see Serena equalling Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles career titles.
Speaking after the match, Serena, who missed last year’s US Open because of the birth of her child Olympia, said; “It is really incredible. A year ago, I was literally fighting for my life at the hospital after having the baby.”
“Every day I step out on this court, I am so grateful to have an opportunity to play this sport.
“So no matter what happens in any match, I already feel like I have already won”, she said
- The American will compete in her 31st Grand Slam final and ninth US Open final.
- Having lost her last two semi-finals at Flushing Meadows, Williams will make her first appearance in the final since beating Caroline Wozniacki in 2014.
- The 17th seed has won the US Open a record-equalling six times, the same amount as compatriot Chris Evert
- Williams will be the third oldest women’s Grand Slam finalist in the Open era and, if she wins, the oldest champion, overtaking her own record set at the 2017 Australian Open.
Rampaging Serena Williams!
Serena, who will be competing in her ninth US Open final on Saturday, was the clear favourite against a player that was reaching a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time in her career
But the ease with which she ran away with the match, winning 11 of the final 12 games and losing just 12 points in the second set, was startling.
“This is just the beginning. I’m only a few months in and really looking forward to the rest of the year and next year”, Serena said.
“I just feel like there’s a lot of growth still to go in my game, that’s actually the most exciting part.
“Even though I’m not a spring chicken, I still have a very, very bright future.”
Williams made a slow start in front of an expectant crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium, which had the roof closed because of rain and thunderstorms.
She lost her serve in the first game and trailed 2-0 before winning four in a row to take command. Williams started to find her range and her power could not be contained by Sevastova.
More striking was the former world number one’s willingness to come forward, approaching the net on 28 occasions and winning 24 of those points.
I just usually come in to shake hands. I wanted to try something different and it worked in my favour. Once Serena took the first set in 39 minutes, there was no way back for Sevastova as the American hit 14 winners in the 25 points she needed to take the second set in 27 minutes.
“I’ve been working hard on my volleys,” Williams said of her aggressive game plan. “I have won a few doubles championships so I know how to volley.
“I just usually come in to shake hands,” she joked. “I wanted to try something different and it worked in my favour.”
Sevastova, who beat defending champion Sloane Stephens to reach the last four, said: “When she’s in front, it’s tough to play. I tried on her games, but she served well. When somebody serves an ace at 123 miles per hour there’s not much you can do.”
To counteract Sevastova’s fondness for a drop shot and a sliced approach, Williams virtually camped at the net and barely missed a drive volley winner.
This was the six-time champion’s sixth commanding performance of the fortnight. She will take some stopping in the final – With agency reports