• US Open

Serena Williams breezes into semi-finals

ESPN staff
September 3, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Serena Williams during her demolition of Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro © AP
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Odds-on favourite Serena Williams produced a clinical display to blow away Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0 6-0, the first double bagel in a quarter-final at Flushing Meadows in 24 years.

Williams won 53 of 71 points and dominated pretty much every statistical category. The first set took all of 19 minutes. The second was slower, lasting 33 minutes, but no less lopsided. "When you play against Serena," Suarez Navarro said, "you know these things can happen."

Williams ominously said she was not yet at her best, and asked if the swirling wind bothered her, she laughed. "I've been playing here for, like, 50 years. I've kind of gotten used to the conditions. Even though it's difficult to play each year, I'm getting a little bit better with it."

She will play 2011 French Open champion Li Na of China in the semi-finals. Li had a far tougher test, taking two-and-a-half hours to get past Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-2. On three occasions, Li went up a break in the second set, nearing eventual victory each time, but could not finish things. She then was up 3-0 in the tiebreaker before faltering. Still, she recovered well and closed the match by taking the last four games.

In game carried over from Monday because of the weather, world No. 2 Victoria Azarenka rallied from a set down for the second match in a row to beat Ana Ivanovic 4-6 6-3 6-4 and seal a place in the quarter-finals of the US Open.

Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open champion, was in control and making plenty of forehand winners in the first set. Then her serve deserted her, as it has before. She was broken in nine of her last 11 service games. Azarenka also struggled on serve, with nine double-faults of her own.

Unable to serve out at 5-3, Azarenka finally clinched the victory on her fourth match point, and now she will face unseeded Daniela Hantuchova, who came through her fourth round tie on Monday.

Victoria Azarenka struggled on her serve but was able to reach the quarter-finals © AP
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Extracts from this piece first appeared on ESPN.com

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