Eighth seed Serena Willams created an onslaught against Elina Svitolina in the semifinal of the ongoing US Open to reach her 33rd Grand Slam final on Thursday at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. With the win, the 23-Grand Slam winner has taken herself on the verge of equalling Margaret Smith Court’s record of 24 titles which is the most by a women’s singles player.
Since returning to the court after the birth of her first child, this will be Williams’ fourth attempt in equalling Margaret Court’s milestone. It was a heartbreak for her in last year’s US Open final after her controversial and chaotic defeat to Naomi Osaka. She has also lost two Wimbledon finals after the return. Now all that separates Williams from her 24th is Canadian Bianca Andreescu or Swiss Belinda Bencic.
The semifinal was anticipated to be a contest of equal footing between Williams’ prodigious powerplay and Svitolina’s counter punches which are one of the best in women’s games. However, it turned out to be one-way traffic from the word ‘go’ as the 37-year-old American had her Ukrainian counterpart crumbling all throughout the match.
That Williams meant business this time around was evident by the 6-1, 6-1 demolition of old foe Maria Sharapova in the first round. She followed it up with routine wins over Karolina Muchova, Petra Martic, Cat McNally and China’s Wanf Qiang before setting up the tie against Svitolina. But the dominating display in the semis convinced everyone at the Arthur Ashe and beyond that she would not be leaving on Saturday without a share of Court’s record.
Such was the dominance of Williams that Svitolina failed to convert any of the six break opportunities that she had earned in the match. The fifth-seed had no answer to the ruthlessness of her opponent and never managed to display her A-game. Williams bombarded her with punishing forehand one after another and six aces to register her 101st US Open victory to equal Chris Evert’s record for the most at Flushing Meadows.