New York: Six-time champion Serena Williams shook off a sluggish start to power past eighth-seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-3 and enter into the US Open semifinals, here Tuesday. However it was the end of the road for defending champion Sloane Stephens who was shown the exit door by Anastasija Sevastova two and three
Serena, chasing a record-equalling 24th Major title, surrendered an early break to Pliskova, but she roared back with a streak of eight straight games to put away the opening set and take a 4-0 lead in the second.
“I just wanted to play better,” Serena said of her mindset as she trailed 1-3 in the first set. “I was thinking, you know, I can play better, so that was the good news.”
Serena did indeed cut down on the errors, and came up with the big serves when she needed them. She finished the match with 13 aces 38 winners.
Serving for the match at 5-3 Serena didn’t allow any room for doubt, holding at love with two aces and an overhead smash followed by one last ace.
World No.3 Stephens, refused to blame the punishing afternoon heat and humidity for her lapses against Sevastova, including an inability to convert any of the seven break chances in the opening set.
“When you don’t play big points well, the match can get away from you,” said Stephens. “Mentally, physically, I just wasn’t connecting.”
Indian challenge ends
New York: Fifth-seeded Colombian duo of Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah defeated No. 15 seeds Rohan Bopanna of India and Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 in the men’s doubles quarterfinals of the US Open tennis tournament here, Tuesday. There was not much difference between the two teams except that the Colombian duo converted each of the two breakpoints in both the sets. It helped them win both the sets.