Serena Williams sees off Pliskova to make US Open semifinals


Serena Williams of the United States of America reacts after winning a game in the second set against Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in a quarterfinal match on day nine of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Stephens beat Sevastova in the same round previous year en route to her first grand slam title, but she missed numerous chances to grab an early lead in the rematch and could never get back into the match.

Williams meets Anastasija Sevastova in the semis on Friday, after the Latvian downed defending champion Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals, 6-2 6-3.

Serena Williams has earned her place in the semi-finals of the US Open today by defeating Karolina Pliskova with a crushing 6-4, 6-3 set in the quarter-finals.

Serving for the match at 5-3 Williams didn't allow any room for doubt, holding at love with two aces and an overhead smash followed by one last ace.

Making her sixth appearance here Pliskova, who defeated World No.1 Williams in the 2016 US Open semifinals in their last clash, ending the Americans 186-week reign at the top of the rankings, becoming just the eighth player ever to defeat both Williams sisters at the same tournament, failed to kill the first set.

"The crowd was really rooting for me, and I felt so bad because everyone out here was cheering and I wasn't winning", Williams, speaking on court post-match, said of the early games.

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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.

The American, 36, is seeking her first Grand Slam trophy since giving birth to daughter Olympia last September.

Despite being two wins shy of what years ago would have seemed like an improbable title, Sevastova refuses to look beyond her semi-final battle. She missed a chance earlier this summer when she fell to Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon final. She put a backhand into the net to get broken to 2-1 at the outset.

It was her first win over a top-10 ranked player since beating Britain's Johanna Konta at the 2017 Australian Open. This time around, Williams grabbed the match by the scruff of the neck, coming back from a break down in the first set to level things up, winning eight games on the bounce to build up a 4-0 lead in the second set.

"Against Serena or Karolina, it's going to be a tough match - they play aggressive, they serve big", Sevastova said. "I have won a few doubles championships, so I know how to volley", Williams said with a laugh, before adding this punch line: "I just usually come in only to shake hands".

"She's playing with the same power".

She broke again to go up 2-0 in the second set before Stephens, pleading with herself to fight, broke back. "I don't think there's any change with her game", Pliskova said.