NEW YORK — Serena Williams fought off early challenges to ultimately breeze past fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine on Thursday night, Sept. 5, in New York, reaching a record 10th U.S. Open final and moving within one win of Grand Slam history.
Williams prevailed 6-3, 6-1 in just 70 minutes despite Svitolina's early push. Williams faced three break points in the opening game of the match and three more midway through the first set. But she fought off all six and took the set thanks to a break in the match's second game.
Svitolina held at love to open the second set, but Williams took the final six games, clinching on her second match point. Williams finished with 33 winners to 11 for Svitolina, and 20 unforced errors to her opponents' 17.
The victory was Williams' 101st at the U.S. Open, tying the all-time record of Chris Evert, who previously shared the record with Williams with nine final appearances at the event.
A six-time champion and the 2018 runner-up, Williams is one win from the 24th Grand Slam title of her career, which would tie Margaret Court for the most by any player, male or female, in any era in history. Court won 13 of her 24 before the Open Era.
Williams, 37, will face the winner of Thursday night's semifinal between Canada's Bianca Andreescu and Switzerland's Belinda Bencic. She has dropped just one set thus far in the tournament.
Andreescu KOs Bencic
Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu's dream run at the U.S. Open continued on Thursday as she powered past Belinda Bencic 7-6(3) 7-5 to set up a highly-anticipated final with Serena Williams on Saturday, Sept. 7.
Andreescu, who has already won titles at Indian Wells and Toronto during her breakout 2019 season, unleashed a torrent of bruising groundstrokes to defeat the Swiss on a warm night at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Momentum shifted on the first point of the first set tiebreak when Bencic double faulted and her previously immaculate play began to crumble and Andreescu cruised from there.
Bencic finally broke Andreescu to open the second set but despite stretching her lead to 4-1 and 5-2, Andreescu fed off the supportive crowd to level at 5-5 after another costly Bencic double fault.
Andreescu booked her ticket to her first Grand Slam final when Bencic sent a forehand into the net on match point to end the tense first-time encounter.
The final will pit power against power when Andreescu takes on her childhood hero Williams, who claimed her first U.S. Open title in 1999 before Andreescu was even born.