Serena Williams defeated Karolina Pliskova at US Open

Serena Williams defeated Karolina Pliskova at US Open

It was the first set she had taken off the American in five meetings.

Williams produced a near ideal set - taking it 6-0 in 18 minutes which contained four aces, points won on every one of her successful first serves, three breaks from three chances and 14 winners.

The world number 26 got off to a slow start against her Czech opponent, serving up a host of double faults and errors, which the eighth seed Pliskova capitalised on to race into a 3-1 lead.

"I saw that she was struggling".

"That's a really big step for me".

Sevastova, who avenged last year's quarter-final loss to Stephens in NY to reach her first Grand Slam semi, converted five of her eight break points and saved seven of the nine against her on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court.

Their last meeting was at Indian Wells past year, when the American won 6-1, 6-4. This is the American tennis legend's 18th US Open tournament.

"Well, I want to just be able to get past the semis here".

"Still long way to go, I think", she said.

Williams already proved at Wimbledon that she is capable of the sort of dominant performances she has shown over the years, making all the way to the final at the All England Club before losing. "It was two years ago for me, but I have great memories from that match".

One match at a time. At one point, Stephens shook her head in astonishment.

While she gave up two straight games to Pliskova, and then narrowly dropped a third later on, Williams quickly finished her off to take the second set 6-3 and advance to the semis. Slowly, point by point, Williams relaxed, started to better predict and return Pliskova's powerful serves and began controlling points and winning games.

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"I still know that no matter whether I'm in the semi-finals or the finals, I have a really long way to go to win that".

Keys: 'I felt good today. "I just need to repeat". "I just had to figure out a way to try to at least make one and one at a time".

Williams held service to take a 5-4 lead and close out the set on her second set point, when Pliskova sent a backhand into the net. She's been playing really well for actually a long time.

Next up for the 28-year-old is Serena, who beat Pliskova later in the day to move into the semis. "She can hit unbelievable shots".

A match that looked to be in question for Serena Williams early on turned into yet another dominating performance by the six-time US Open champion on Tuesday night. There were no fist pumps, no Serena screams, no yells to herself to, "C'mon!"

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From there, the result was never in doubt as Williams finished off with three aces and an overhead to seal her place in the final four.

While Williams' draw on paper looked incredibly tough, the premature exits of Simona Halep and Stephens have seen her enjoy a more routine passage, with only Kaia Kanepi taking a set off her.

Williams saved 10 of the 12 break points and struck 35 winners to Pliskova's 12 to record her first victory over a player in the world's top 10 since returning from maternity leave earlier this year.

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

"I was playing really not a good game", Williams, who was a point from trailing by two break in the opening set, said.