US Open: Serena Williams on course for 7th title, champ Stephens exits

Sep 06, 2018, 07:11 IST | AFP

World number three Stephens, refused to blame the punishing afternoon heat and humidity for her lapses against Sevastova, including an inability to convert any of seven break chances in opening set

US Open: Serena Williams on course for 7th title, champ Stephens exits
Serena Williams returns to Karolina Pliskova in quarters clash. Pic/AFP

Six-time champion Serena Williams shook off a sluggish start to power past eighth-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-3 on Tuesday and into the US Open semi-finals. The US superstar, chasing a record-equalling 24th major title, surrendered an early break to Pliskova, but she roared back with a streak of eight straight games to put away the opening set and take a 4-0 lead in the second against the woman who beat her in the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows in 2016.

"I just wanted to play better," Williams said of her mindset as she trailed 3-1 in the first. "I was thinking, you know, I can play better, so that was the good news." Williams did indeed cut down on the errors, and came up with the big serves when she needed them.

She finished the match with 13 aces and will take on Anastasija Sevastova for a place in the final after the 19th-seeded Latvian toppled defending champion Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-3. Pliskova, who managed to convert just two of 12 break point chances in the contest, said Williams was simply too good in the important moments.

World number three Stephens, refused to blame the punishing afternoon heat and humidity for her lapses against Sevastova, including an inability to convert any of seven break chances in opening set.

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