Serena Williams Eyes Chance at Making Tennis History After Trouncing Elina Svitolina at US Open Semifinals

Serena Williams celebrates after winning her women’s singles semifinal match against Elina Svitolina at the U.S. Open in New York Sept. 5, 2019.
Serena Williams celebrates after winning her women’s singles semifinal match against Elina Svitolina at the U.S. Open in New York Sept. 5, 2019.
Photo: Elsa (Getty)

Serena Williams may be on her way to making history, as she heads into the final of the U.S. Open after easily defeating Elina Svitolina on Thursday in semifinals play.

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Williams is hoping to tie Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles if she’s able to pull off a victory at Saturday’s U.S. Open final, the New York Times reports.

She moved one step closer to that Thursday when she overwhelmed Svitolina with a 6-3, 6-1 drubbing.

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As the New York Post put it, it wasn’t that fifth-seeded Svitolina was so bad, it was that eighth-seeded Williams was just so good:

Williams just flat-out overwhelmed Svitolina. She had her usual power and moved well enough — constantly a concern since giving birth to daughter Olympia two years ago. But frankly, Svitolina never really tested Williams’ legs, rarely hitting a ball she couldn’t get to.

With her victory Thursday evening, Williams will play Saturday in hopes of winning the U.S. Open in the final against either Belinda Bencic or Bianca Andreescu.

Saturday’s match will represent the fourth time in 14 months that Williams has been just one victory shy of tying the Grand Slam record for the history books, as the Times notes:

Williams has been chasing Court’s record since she returned to the tour last year, about six months after giving birth to her daughter, Olympia.

Williams is well aware that she is running out of time to reach No. 24: She will turn 38 later this month. But despite injuries and a talented group of young players, she keeps playing her way into major finals.

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Saturday’s match is sure to be closely watched. It will be not only because Williams is the GOAT of tennis, but because the match will come one year after her shot at making history then was dashed after her loss to Naomi Osaka, a loss that also saw Williams get into an ugly spat with the umpire.

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However, always a champion, Williams has said she sought counseling to deal with the “emotional fallout” from that match, according to the Times, and in terms of appearances at the U.S. Open final, Williams is a veteran: Saturday’s will mark her 10th time at the dance.

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DISCUSSION

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Nina Lemone

I wish someone would’ve talked about the odious reporting around Svitolina’s and Monfils’s relationship this US Open. The ESPN talking heads made a lot of hay over Svitolina improving Monfils’s game by making him more professional and saying he improved her game by making her more...physical I guess. I hated it. So many tennis players date other tennis players, and that was never a talking point until their relationship was confirmed. I do wish Gael had won his quarterfinal.

Anyway, Svito was a good test for Serena. Her movement was so damn good tonight. Svito tried a drop shot and I do mean tried. She totally didn’t expect Serena to run it down and win the point.

Bencic is having a total letdown in her level. The final might be a replay of Toronto. Andreescu shouldn’t expect Serena to retire from injury this time.