Serena Williams claimed her 100th win at the US Open in style, dismantling her quarter-final opponent Wang Qiang 6-1, 6-0 in a blistering 44-minute performance that ended any questions over a twisted ankle from the previous round.
“I never thought I would get to 100 wins and still be here but I love what I do,” Williams said after the match, reflecting on the two decades she has spent playing at Flushing Meadows.
“When I’m playing someone I know is playing well I know I have to step up or go home, and I want to stay here.”
The 37-year-old American was dominant from the start, firing off 25 winners, compared to zero from 18th-seed Wang, and winning 90% of her first serve points.
During her fourth-round win over Petra Martic on Sunday, Williams slipped and fell while running to the net and twisted her right ankle but showed no ill-effects on Tuesday.
“I’m feeling good,” she said. “It’s been a tough year but physically I’m feeling great and more than anything I’m just having fun when I come out here.”
Williams, seeded eight, will play fifth-seed Elina Svitolina in the semi-finals.
“She’s had a great year,” said Williams. “She made the semis at Wimbledon and I feel she wants to go one step further, so I feel I’ll have to come out and play really well.”
Svitolina beat Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-4 over 100 attritional minutes and said afterwards: “I don’t think that I was expecting going into this tournament that I’m going to make semis.
“I’m just taking one match at a time. It’s a grand slam. There is lots of pressure, lots of expectations from people. But you also put lots of pressure on yourself.
“You have to just go out there, do your job and don’t think too much what’s going on around you, and who handle it the best wins.
“Definitely it’s a big challenge to play against her. Obviously Serena is amazing champion. It’s probably it’s going to be really tough against her.”