November 25, 2015

After a Slow Start, Serena Williams Soars in US Open Semifinals


(September 3, 2014) Two-time defending champion Serena Williams has her serve broken twice opening against 11 seed Flavia Pennetta but then won 12 out of the next 14 games to win 6-3, 6-2 to move into the US Open semifinal.

“She was playing really well and she was playing, you know, very aggressive,” Williams said. “So I had to just step up my level of game, as well.”

“I really had to step up my game. That’s why I was down Love-3. She came out really strong and really hard. It was a very, very good game for her.”

“I had confidence from the beginning,” Pennetta said. “I get in the court and try to do what I have to do to bring the match home, but she was really good today. I think we play really good tennis tonight. I mean, really strong tennis in everything. Today I push so much and she come in with the best tennis, I think.”

The win gives the No. 1 player her 19th straight win at the US Open. For the 32-year-old American, it’s the first time she’s reached the semifinals of a Grand Slam in 2014.

Williams is trying to become the first woman player to “three-peat” at the US Open since Chris Evert won four in a row from 1975-78. Should Williams win the title, she would pull even with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova in total major singles titles at 18.

Williams will play Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova, a the 17th seed in her first major semifinal who advanced to her first Grand Slam semifinal by beating two-time US Open finalist Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-2.

“Makarova moves well,” Williams said. “She doesn’t care who she plays, she gives 100%. Those types of players are often difficult to play because it makes them better. Like I say, she moves well. She has that serve that can hit — that can go out wide or you never know where it’s going to go. She’s has a great backhand and she’s improved her forehand. It’s going to be interesting for me to do the best that I can, because, you know, she has a lot of momentum going into this match as well.”

“She’s beaten me before,” Williams said. “I am obviously going to go in there and just try to do the best I can.”

The other women’s semifinal will feature No. 10 seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark against unseeded Peng Shuai of China.
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