Ace Serena Williams, hot Thiem cruise into US Open semi-finals
New York, Thursday
Serena Williams battled into a US Open semi-final showdown with Victoria Azarenka on Wednesday as top men’s seeds Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev booked their spots in the last four.
Williams, seeded third, came from a set down to overcome unseeded Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova and keep alive her bid for a 24th singles Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows.
Later, Azarenka blew away Belgium’s Elise Mertens as she continues her hunt for a first Grand Slam title in seven years.
Williams’ comeback included two astonishing shots with her left hand that contributed to winning points.
“At that point I was fighting so hard. I was just trying to do everything I can whether righty or lefty,” she said.
A sluggish start saw the American lose the first 6-4, but she fought back to take the next two 6-3, 6-2, in 2hr 12min inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“I never give up and you know I just gotta keep going,” Williams added.
Williams smashed 20 aces, the most she has had in eight years, taking her tally for the tournament to 64 so far.
The record for the most number of aces in a US Open in the women’s singles is 70, set by Williams in 1999 when she won for the first time.
“Sometimes when I’m serving, I just tell myself, I don’t care if my arm falls off, I’m going to keep serving,” she said.
Williams is looking to match Margaret Court’s record for the most number of singles Grand Slam wins.
It has been more than three years since she won her 23rd at the 2017 Australian Open when she was already pregnant with daughter Olympia.
Williams has come close since, reaching four major finals only to come away empty handed.
In the last four she will renew her rivalry with former world number Azarenka who demolished Mertens 6-1, 6-0 in just 1hr 13 min. -AFP