Serena Williams reaches U.S. Open semifinals

Serena Williams reaches U.S. Open semifinals

Serena Williams reaches U.S. Open semifinals

Coming into this tournament, Williams had won only one match on hard courts since she made the final at Wimbledon, and in San Jose in late July, she suffered the most lopsided loss of her career, a 6-1, 6-0 drubbing by unseeded Johanna Konta of Great Britain.

In the other games, defending champion Sloane Stephens of the US was outclassed in her quarter-final clash by Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova 2-6, 3-6.

Williams, a six-time victor here and 23-time Grand Slam singles champion, trailed early when Pliskova broke her serve and took a 2-1 lead in the first set.

Keys has played Osaka twice before, and won both times.

"I just really couldn't get anything to connect".

That's good news for the 36-year-old Williams as she vies for a title that would see her break out of a tie with Chris Evert for most US Open victories and equal Australian Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 major titles.

Stephens lacked the swagger she showed through the opening four rounds and wilted in the sun-baked daytime conditions against Sevastova, who became the first Latvian woman to reach the US Open semi-finals.

Williams is also aiming for a first Grand Slam title since giving birth to her daughter a year ago.

It was a very different story from their last encounter in NY, as Pliskova upset the six-time champion on the way to so far her only Slam final.

'I just want to be able to get past the semis here.

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

Williams did indeed cut down on the errors, and came up with the big serves when she needed them. Tough loss previous year.

Rafael Nadal was forced to go the distance in an epic five-setter against Dominic Thiem in their US Open quarter-final, while Serena Williams fought back to beat Karolina Pliskova and reach the semi-finals in NY.

Williams looked destined to drop the first set against eighth seed Karoline Pliskova, trailing 4-2 and down a break. "I didn't play my best".

She then dropped her racket and held her hands to her face as a Stephens shot went into the net on the match's final point.

Williams, seeded 17th, meets the last player to beat her at the U.S. Open.

It is the first time the six-time champion has beaten a top-10 opponent since returning from maternity leave. "I think today I didn't play those points well at all, even at the end, in the second set".

"Against Serena or Karolina, it's going to be a tough match - they play aggressive, they serve big", Sevastova said. A strong response from Williams as Pliskova continued to fight back made it 5-2 before putting the final touches on the win.

"The crowd was really for me and I felt so bad that I wasn't winning", she said.

Pliskova got another chance when Williams batted a forehand into the net, but another booming serve, a backhand victor and an unreturnable serve saw her negotiate the danger.

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