Serena Williams rolls into US Open semifinals

Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia celebrates after defeating Sloane Stephens during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament Tuesday Sept. 4 2018 in New York

Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia celebrates after defeating Sloane Stephens during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament Tuesday Sept. 4 2018 in New York

Williams is only playing in her eighth tournament since becoming a mum, but had only dropped one set - in her last-16 match against Latvia's Kaia Kanepi - on her way to the last eight.

"I just play them instinctively, and that's how they work, or don't work sometimes."
"I didn't play my best".

Sevastova, who avenged last year's quarter-final loss to Stephens in NY to reach her first major semi-final, converted five of her eight break points and saved seven of the nine against her on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court.

Suddenly it was Pliskova against the wall as Williams engineered two set points in the tenth game, converting the second to complete the comeback. "It's been a few couple rough semis for me".

Serena Williams, fresh off her dominant 6-2, 6-1 win over her sister Venus in the semifinals on Friday, looked off her game early on Tuesday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City.

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The confident Williams got some measure of revenge for her 2016 semifinal loss against the Czech as she continues to climb her way back to the top after the birth of her first child a year ago.

Pliskova is asked about the muggy conditions and says that she's grateful she hasn't played any three-setters in NY, having advanced to the quarters without dropping a set.

"She's one of the best players in the world", Pliskova said. I think she's still the strongest. "You just have to go with it", Stephens said. That's just how it is.

Serving for the match, the Latvian raced out to triple match point and although Stephens saved two of them, Sevastova sealed the win when the 25-year-old American pushed a backhand into the net. "Obviously was enjoying my time on court, which is for me now the most important". It would be Williams' first major since she won the 2017 Australian Open. "But I don't play dropshots when I see the player struggling or bending over, no", Sevastova said. Her timing was off. So obviously I know her game really well. "So she's definitely someone that gets a lot of balls back and something I have to be ready for".

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