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23 April 2024

'Best work in the world': Serena reflects on 20 years at the top

Photo: AFP


Serena Williams said tennis had "come a really long way" as she moved to within a victory of a 10th US Open final Tuesday, 20 years after winning her first Grand Slam title in New York.

Williams, who turns 38 later this month, charged into the last four at Flushing Meadows with a 6-1, 6-0 thrashing of China's Wang Qiang that took just 44 minutes.

The American is hunting a 24th Grand Slam singles title to equal Margaret Court's all-time record and will face Ukrainian fifth seed Elina Svitolina in Thursday's semi-finals.

Williams collected her 100th US Open win against Wang, leaving her one shy of the mark belonging to Chris Evert -- a record she could eclipse by lifting a seventh title here.

"I think the sport has come a really long way. It's been really satisfying to see sport for women, the premier sport for women," said Williams, who beat Martina Hingis in the 1999 final in New York.

"It's the best work in the world that a woman can do in my mind. I'm a little biased obviously.

"I feel like we fought so hard for so many years for so many different things. I feel like we still obviously have a ways to go, but a lot of that fighting through decades has come through."

Williams conceded just 15 points, and a mere four in the second set, as she blew 18th seed Wang away to reach the last four for the 13th time in 19 US Open appearances.

Wang conceded she had no answer to the power supplied by Williams, who insisted her approach remains the same as she bids for a first Slam title since the 2017 Australian Open.

"I don't try to up any intimidation factor. I am who I am. I've always been the person that goes out there and roars and screams and complains and cries and fights," Williams said.

"I'm extremely passionate about what I do. Most people that love their jobs are passionate about what they do. That's just me."