23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams avenged her 2016 loss to Karolina Pliskova in stunning fashion on Arthur Ashe Stadium, securing her spot in a 12th US Open semifinal.
Defending US Champion Sloane Stephens was defeated in straight sets by Anastaija Sevastova
Six-time US Open champion Serena Williams stormed through 10 of the final 13 games of a highly-anticipated quarterfinal clash with fellow former World No.1, 6-4, 6-3, to surge into the semifinals in Flushing Meadows.
"I'd been a couple steps away at the last Grand Slam, so I'm definitely not ahead of myself," Serena said in her post-match press conference. "I still know that no matter whether I'm in the semifinals or the finals, I have a really long way to go to win that. Again, that proved to be true at Wimbledon. I'm just taking it one at a time, literally."
Williams last played Pliskova at this event two years ago, with Pliskova scoring a career-defining win that took her into a maiden Grand Slam final and later the top of the WTA rankings.
The three-time WTA Ace leader appeared on course for a similar victory to kick off the night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium, leading by an early break before the 23-time Grand Slam champion roared back to secure her first Top 10 win of 2018 after one hour and 23 minutes on court.
"That's a really big step for me. Shocking that it's my first Top 10 win. I really felt like I was playing well in Cincinnati, even though I lost," she added, referencing a narrow Western & Southern Open loss to Petra Kvitova. "I was just on the verge. If I could have just had one more match before I played a Top 10 player, I think I would have done better. I'm getting those matches now. I was just so light on the matches. Now I feel like I'm at a level where I can play and try to compete against these amazing women in the Top 10."
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Photo: Rémy Gros
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