Serena powers past Pliskova

Serena powers past Pliskova

Serena Williams defeated No. 8 seed and 2016 U.S. Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-3 on Tuesday in the U.S. Open quarterfinals. In other words: It's time to stop hedging predictions and start expecting Williams to win this tournament and tie Margaret Court's all-time record for major wins. "I just need to repeat".

"It was a great match for me at the time", Pliskova says.

"I really feel like right now I'm playing free", Williams said after the match.

Maybe. But that didn't last long as the 36-year-old American advanced to the last four of the US Open for the 12th time.

Soon after that, Williams went from trailing 4-2 to not only taking the first set but also leading 4-0 in the second.

Williams wobbled again in the second set but served her way out of trouble before clinching a 6-4 6-3 victory.

"I want to just be able to get past the semis here", Williams said. I want to do really well.

"I hope I will enjoy it, playing semi-finals. I don't think there's any change with her game", Pliskova said. It's a amusing phrase to say, but that's actually what happened - no one knew me the day before, and then the next day, it was like everyone knew me. "So she's definitely someone that gets a lot of balls back and something I have to be ready for".

Williams was on track to meet Stephens in the semi-finals but her third-seeded countrywoman was dumped out of the tournament via a 6-2, 6-3 loss to 19th seed Anastasija Sevastova.

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The 18th seeded Latvian is now the only hurdle standing between Williams and a place in Saturday's final where the other side of the draw has also been cleared of potential trouble with 14th seeded American Madison Keys the highest ranked threat remaining.

A seventh US Open title would see the American equal Margaret Court's Grand Slam haul but Williams has lost her last two semi-finals in NY. "She was No. 1 past year, so she got there for a reason".

"I still know that no matter whether I'm in the semi-finals or the finals, I have a really long way to go to win that. I just had to figure out a way to try to at least make one and one at a time".

With temperatures hovering above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.2°C), and the tournament's extreme heat policy in effect for a second consecutive day, Sevastova broke an error-prone Stephens to go 3-1 ahead and never looked back. "She can still serve well", Pliskova said.

"I saw that she was struggling".

She was facing the last player she lost to at Flushing Meadows.

"I just play them instinctively, and that's how they work, or don't work sometimes".

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.

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