Serena Williams hit 25 winners to none for her opponent in the US Open quarter-finals. (AP: Charles Krupa)
The numbers associated with Serena Williams’ US Open quarterfinal victory were so stark, they bear reading more than once.
- Serena Williams has won her 100th career match at the US Open, beating Qiang Wang 6-1, 6-0
- Williams took just 44 minutes to defeat her Chinese opponent, the equal-fastest completed women’s singles match this season
- Williams will take on fifth seed Elina Svitolina in the semi final
Winners: 25-0. Points: 50-15. Minutes: 44. Score: 6-1, 6-0.
This is the portion of the tournament that is supposed to be where winning a Grand Slam title gets difficult, where the remaining players are among the very best opposition around.
And yet there was Williams in Arthur Ashe Stadium, making one of the last eight women in the draw, someone ranked number 18 in a world of billions, look and feel completely overwhelmed.
“Didn’t give her too many chances,” Williams said.
A reporter wanted to know what surprised Wang the most about being across the net from Williams for the first time.
“Power,” came the answer.
The way she hit groundstrokes from the baseline? The way she served?
“Everything,” Wang said with a smile.
Looking as dominant as can be as she moved closer to a 24th Grand Slam singles trophy and seventh US Open championship, Williams was not troubled one bit by the right ankle she rolled in her previous match.
“Physically, I’m feeling great,” Williams said, “and more than anything, I’m having fun every time I come out here.”
Against Wang, who was making her debut in a major quarter-final, Williams grabbed the first five games in about 15 minutes. Then, after dropping one game, Williams collected the next 11 points to start a seven-game run the rest of the way.
She controlled pretty much every point, pretty much from the start, regardless of whether she was serving or returning. She hit the ball hard, well and true, pushing Wang around and rarely letting get into position for a proper reply.
Williams was so dialled in, there weren’t all that many occasions to test her ankle, but on those rare instances when she did need to run, she appeared to be more than OK.
That’s a big reason that Wang could not manage even one winner.
“Yeah, that’s a good stat for me. It’s good because I want to be able to move around the court. I move when I want to move,” Williams said. “I guess I wanted to move tonight.”
This was her 100th match win at the US Open, dating to her debut in 1998 as a teen.
“From when I first started here … I never thought that I would get to 100. Didn’t even cross my mind I would still be out here,” said Williams who turns 38 later this month. “But I love what I do.”
The American will face number five seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine for a berth in the final.
Elina Svitolina reached the semi-finals at a second-straight major with a win over Johanna Konta. (AP: Frank Franklin II)
Svitolina eliminated 16th-seeded Johanna Konta of Britain 6-4, 6-4 earlier on Tuesday.
“She gets a lot of balls back. She doesn’t make a lot of mistakes,” Williams said about Svitolina, who beat her at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“She’s one of those players that does everything really well. So I have to do everything well, too.”
With her boyfriend, Gael Monfils, watching in the stands, Svitolina got to the semi-finals at a second consecutive major tournament after never having been that far before.
“Now,” Svitolina joked about Monfils, “he needs to step up his game.”
Monfils, who is seeded number 13, plays number 24 Matteo Berrettini in one of the men’s quarter-finals on Wednesday, when Rafael Nadal meets number 20 Diego Schwartzman in the other.
The women on the schedule Wednesday: number 13 Belinda Bencic versus Donna Vekic, and Bianca Andreescu versus number 25 Elise Mertens.