(September 6, 2018) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Six-time champion Serena Williams has reached her 10th US Open final. Williams, after going down 0-2 to start off the match, she won 12 out of the next 13 games to fly past No. 19 Anastasjia Sevastova 6-3, 6-0. It’s her second straight major final. She lost the final of Wimbledon to Angelique Kerber. Williams is seeking her seventh US Open title and 24th major crown. He 24th major would equal all-time leader Margaret Court, who won her major titles in both the Open Era which began in 1968 and amateur era before that. Williams holds the record for the Open Era at 23.
At 37, Williams will be the oldest major finalist in the Open Era. She’d be the oldest major singles winner should she take the title on Saturday.
Williams after the slow start, played aggressive tennis, charging the net whenever she had the chance. Her Latvian opponent had no answer
Williams missed last year’s US Open. Just a year ago Williams had a baby daughter, named Olympia and had medical difficulties with her delivery. She returned to the tour in February. This is just her seventh tournament since her return. Although seeded 17th, she is currently ranked 26th in the world.
“Honestly, it is remarkable,” said Williams. “I couldn’t have predicted this at all. Just been working really hard. Like I said, this is just the beginning of my return. I’m still on the way up. There’s still much more that I plan on doing. You don’t reach your best a couple months in. That’s kind of where I am now.
“I just feel like there’s a lot of growth to still go in my game. That’s actually the most exciting part.”
“I definitely don’t feel myself yet. I’m definitely not there. I don’t feel like me.
“I think it takes time. My mom said it takes, like, a full year to kind of get back. I’m at a full year now. But I’m also playing a sport professionally. The emotions and expectations and all the other stuff that you add on top of it, it’s a lot, you know.
“I just feel like I’m definitely not there. Even my body is different.”
Sevastova said that she had her chances against Williams but could not capitalize.
“It was tough for sure,” she said. “I think I had chances also in the first set, also in the second. But, yeah, how the first set went, I think it affected me in the second a little bit. I shouldn’t get broken twice in the first set. I had the game points on both these games.
“But, yeah, she got a little bit lucky I think on some breaks in the first set. Then she started feeling better. When she’s in front, it’s tough to play.
“She stayed focused in the second set. Yeah, I tried on her games, but she served well. I returned okay I think for my standards. But, okay, when somebody serves 123 miles-per-hour ace, not much you can do.”
The Latvian was powerless against Williams’ net play. The American won 24 our 28 net points.
“I think she should come to the net, for sure. She’s making more pressure coming to the net,” admitted Sevastova.
“I don’t know if I was surprised. Maybe, maybe not. But, again, she was serving well, and I was chipping sometimes the returns. You have to go to the net. She wanted to finish the point, yeah, be aggressive.”
“I think she played very good today. She has an amazing serve. It’s tough to return. She makes so much pressure on the first, second ball, it’s tough for me.
“But I moved well. I got in the game actually pretty well. I knew what to expect, yeah. I was ready. But somehow maybe I started playing a little bit worse and worse. But she was getting better.”
“I obviously wanted to be back to the final a couple years ago, but it wasn’t meant to be,” Williams said.”I just have to take it one step at a time, do the best that I can.”
“I got a little emotional out there because last year I was literally fighting for my life in the hospital,” Williams said. “I think I was on my fourth surgery by now. What is today? I was on my third surgery. I had one more to go still.
“To come from that, in the hospital bed, not being able to move and walk and do anything, now only a year later, I’m not training, but I’m actually in these finals, in two in a row. Like I said, this is the beginning. I’m not there yet. I’m on the climb still.
“I just feel like not only is my future bright, even though I’m not a spring chicken, but I still have a very, very bright future.” The room burst into laughter. “That is super exciting for me.”
Williams hit 31 winners in the 66-minute match.
On Saturday, Williams will face 20th seed Naomi Osaka in the final. Osaka beat Madison Keys in straight sets.
“I lost to Naomi last time we played, but I definitely wasn’t at my best,” Williams said. “Again, I’m still in that climb.”
Asked about the history that looms for Williams on Saturday, if she wins, the 23-time major champ responded.
“I don’t know. It’s hard to say because I had an opportunity to do that this summer, and it didn’t happen, so…
“I’m just going to keep trying. If it doesn’t happen, I’ll keep trying for the next one.”
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