Women look to be semi-tough on Day 11

Arnold Nichols
September 6, 2018

They've both played commanding tennis from the baseline this year, relying on similar tools. In that match, Williams couldn't overcome a slow start, never recovered her nerves, never did what she was able to do Tuesday night.

Indeed, the American has enjoyed the better of this rivalry to date, winning all three of their meetings - including a tie at the French Open earlier this year. It was Williams' first win over a top-10 player this season.

"I just wanted to play better", Williams said of her mindset as she trailed 3-1 in the first. "You just have to go with it", Stephens said.

"In the beginning, maybe she was a little bit nervous", Pliskova said.

Serena Williams demonstrated her awesome powers of recovery to move into the semi-finals of the US Open on Wednesday with a straight sets win over Karolina Pliskova.

In May this year, Williams won her first match back after the birth of her daughter Olympia, six months after the childbirth that left her unable to even walk to her mailbox.

Go back to 2015, and that was another semifinal departure for Williams, whose bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam was shockingly ended by Roberta Vinci.

"Quarters was my mental goal, every time I played a Grand Slam".

"Just stay hydrated throughout", Williams says. "But regardless, this has been a great road".


With the win, Williams will take on Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova in the semis, who knocked off No. 3 Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-3.

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. She sure didn't attempt to hide her frustration, either, repeatedly gesturing toward or speaking in the direction of her coach, Kamau Murray, up in the stands.

"Today I just really couldn't get anything to connect". She can also quickly be back in the match with a couple games or couple shots.

"Still long way to go, I think", the Latvian said. Williams advances to play in her 36th major semifinal on Thursday. That proved to be true at Wimbledon.

"It was an incredible journey, this three, four years", the world number 18 said. Pliskova rued the last big chance to come back into the match, Serena sealed the win with an ace. Her timing was off.

Stephens, who said she had been dealing with a sinus infection, rued all of her wasted opportunities against Sevastova, most notably the seven break points she failed to convert in the first set.

Kanepi responded brilliantly in the second set by breaking Williams twice before she held serve in the 10th game to level the match.

Serena Williams vs Anastasija Sevastova Can Sevastova cause an upset? She can still serve well. She was hitting such big returns so I wanted to hit bigger second serves.

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