Serena Williams hardly broke a sweat Monday, but she did break a record.
Williams moved into the U.S. Open quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Yaroslava Shvedova on the Ashe Stadium Court.
The victory was No. 308 in Grand Slam matches, breaking a tie with Roger Federer for wins in tennis’ biggest events. Federer skipped the Open this year to rehab an ailing knee.
“I just think winning 308 matches in general is pretty awesome. For that to be in a Grand Slam is pretty cool,” Williams said. “It’s a huge number. I think it’s very significant. I think it’s something that just really talks about the length of my career, in particular. I’ve been playing for a really long time, but also given that consistency . . . That’s some thing that I’m really proud of.”
Williams has been nursing a sore right shoulder since the start of the summer, but it doesn’t seem to be impacting her blunderbuss serve. She served 11 aces Monday and leads the women’s field with 42 in four matches.
“I don’t think I really served in the summer until I got here to New York, so . . . It was a real ly tough summer for me,” she said. “Maybe that’s the key.”
Her opponent in the quarterfinals will be Simona Halep, who defeated Carla Suarez-Navarro, 6-2, 7-5. Williams has 22 Grand Slams and Halep still is looking for her first. Because she’s playing Wil liams, she said the pressure is off.
“Mental challenge I think doesn’t have to be that important because she’s like the best player in the world,” Halep said. “I don’t have to be afraid . . . It’s just a huge challenge for me.”
For Williams, it’s another player with something to prove.
“I just think with everyone I play, they play a step up and above their ranking,” she said. “I think that’s the beauty, one of the reasons I’m able to hang. Everyone I’m playing is playing like they’re No. 1.”