The relentless Serena Williams achieves the 100th victory of the US Open to enter the semifinals
NEW YORK: Serena Williams he won his 100th victory in the United States Open on Tuesday with a brutal 44-minute demolition of Wang Qiang , firing an ominous warning to his rivals in his quest for a 24th Grand Slam title that ties record.
Six-time United States Open champion Williams dismantled Chinese 18th seed Wang 6-1, 6-0 in a complete mismatch that was the quickest at this year's tournament to set up a semi-final clash with Ukrainian trailblazer Elina Svitolina.
Williams brought up a century of United States Open wins to move to within one of the all-time leader Chris Evert.
It is really amazing, literally. Since I started here, I think I was 16, I didn't think it would reach 100. I didn't think I'd still be here, Williams said.
The 37-year-old American is looking for a 24th title to match Margaret Court's record and hit 25 winners against Slam's first finalist, Wang, who failed to hit one.
Wang, 27, did not lose a set during his best Slam race that included a defeat of the current French Open champion Ashleigh Barty in the past 16 years, but he could not avoid a Williams attack at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
When I play someone who is playing very well, I know I have to step forward or go home and I was not ready to go home. He had to come here and play really well, Williams said, without suffering harmful effects from the ankle he rolled in his previous bout.
Physically I feel great. More than anything, I'm having fun every time I come here.
Wang, trying to become the fourth Chinese player to reach the last four of a Slam, won only four points in the second set and 15 in total.
It's not easy to play against her, Wang said. Power, like, I can't handle it. Too much for me.
Williams captured her last Slam title at the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant and hasn't won the United States Open since 2014.
Fifth seed Svitolina defeated Britain's Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-4 to become the first Ukrainian to reach the United States Open semi-finals, matching her run to the last four at Wimbledon in July.
It feels amazing. It was a very, very difficult game. We both hit the ball well. It was pretty even, Svitolina said. I am very, very happy about the way I handled the pressure.
Svitolina saw a couple of match points pass through 5-3 in the service of his opponent while Konta struggled to stay alive, but the Ukrainian closed the victory in the next game.
Svitolina had already knocked out former champion Venus Williams and 2017 finalist Madison Keys twice and is in her own class as the only Ukrainian woman to reach this stage in an important race.
He will try to emulate Andrei Medvedev as the second Ukrainian to play a Grand Slam final. Medvedev lost the Roland Garros men's final in 1999 in five sets against Andre Agassi.
Serena is an amazing champion. It is probably going to be very hard against her, Svitolina said.
Williams, the only former Grand Slam champion left in the draw, defeated Svitolina in four of the previous five meetings, although the latter won his most recent meeting at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Konta, who took out third seed and 2016 runner-up Karolina Pliskova in the last 16, was denied in her bid to be the first British woman to make the United States Open semis since Jo Durie in 1983.
She played very well, to be honest. Actually, I didn't play badly at all, Konta said, reflecting on a season in which he reached the quarterfinals or better with three Slams.
It's the best I've done so far in my career. There is much to be proud of. There is much to look back and smile.
The United States Open is guaranteed a first-time major finalist and there will be four different Grand Slam winners in a season in the Open era for an unprecedented third year in a row.
Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu, who hasn't lost a full match since March, faces Belgian semifinal Elise Mertens in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
The Swiss number 13, Belinda Bencic, faces the good friend Donna Vekic, number 23 of Croatia, in the other clash of the last eight.