NEW YORK — Has Serena Williams ever been this dominant? She held 18th seed Wang Qiang to zero winners in a 44-minute 6-1, 6-0 victory in the U.S. Open quarterfinals on Tuesday night.
Make it 100 U.S. Open match wins for Williams, who by the way had 24 winners Tuesday. She said that when she debuted here in 1998, at age 16 (and won the title the next year), she never would have imagined reaching the century mark.
“It didn’t cross my mind that I would still be out here,” she said.
Wang, who will be ranked in the top 15 after the U.S. Open, was asked afterward what surprised her the most in her first match against Williams (and her first time playing at Arthur Ashe Stadium).
“Power,” she said. “I cannot handle it. Just too much for me.”
The most important numbers: 24 (Williams is two wins from a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title) and one (Williams is looking for her first tournament title since becoming a mom).
She gets the highest seed left in the draw, No. 5 Elina Svitolina, in Thursday’s semifinals. The eighth-seeded American showed no affects from rolling her right ankle in the fourth round on Sunday.
Williams, who has made the semifinals of 10 straight U.S. Open appearances, is now one U.S. Open match win shy of Chris Evert‘s record 101. She is 100-12 all-time at Flushing Meadows.
She is also the only woman among the quarterfinalists who has Grand Slam final experience. Perhaps that will help her after losing all three of her Slam finals since returning from life-threatening childbirth last year.
“I”m definitely more ready than last year, although I thought I was playing really well last year,” Williams said. “After a small hiccup this year, I’m starting to play a little bit better.”
Svitolina, the highest-ranked woman yet to reach a Slam final, dispatched British 16th seed Jo Konta 6-4, 6-4 earlier Tuesday. Svitolina beat Williams in their last meeting at the Rio Olympics.
In men’s action Tuesday, fifth seed Daniil Medvedev became the first Russian man to make a Grand Slam semifinal since Mikhail Youzhny at the 2010 U.S. Open. Medvedev took out 2016 U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka 7-6 (6), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. Medvedev gets Roger Federer or Grigor Dimitrov in the semifinals.
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