Serena Williams is a player on a mission.
Williams got her 100th U.S. Open victory Tuesday night, rolling over China’s Qiang Wang, 6-1, 6-0, in the quarterfinals.
Williams is only two victories away from winning her 24th Grand Slam title, which would tie Margaret Court’s record. Her victory on Tuesday sent a strong message to the rest of the field: Williams is determined to get her name in the record books this year and if she continues to play with this kind of power it’s hard to imagine that she won’t.
Williams needed just 44 minutes to dispatch the 15th-seeded Wang, making it the shortest match played at the U.S. Open this year. Wang, who was playing in her first U.S. Open quarterfinal, won just 15 points the entire match while Williams had 50. Williams finished with 35 winners to zero for Wang.
“It’s not easy to play against her,” Wang said after the match. “She is great.”
And looking to establish herself as having the greatest number of Grand Slam titles ever.
Williams won her first Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open 20 years ago when she defeated Martina Hingis in 1999. It was clear on Tuesday that she has a lot of affection for this tournament and its fans.
“From when I first started here at 16 I never thought I would get to 100,” Williams said after the match. “I love what I do. I love coming out here in front of you guys. It’s so special. I never want to let it go.”
“Being American and being able to play in your home Grand Slam is always interesting and fun. It’s like a dream come true. It’s the first place I won one of my 23 Grand Slams.”
Williams has a 100-12 all-time record at the Open, making her just one win shy of Chris Evert’s record of 101 wins. She advances to the semifinals for the 13th time, where she will face Elina Svitolina. The fifth-seeded Ukrainian defeated Johana Konta, 6-4, 6-4, in a Tuesday afternoon quarterfinal.
“She’s had a great year, as well,’’ Williams said. “I feel like she wants to go one further this time, so I have to be able to come out again and play really well.’’
Williams has not won a Grand Slam event since taking time off for the birth of her daughter two years ago. She was a finalist at Wimbledon last year and this year. She was a finalist in the U.S. Open last year, but lost to Naomi Osaka in a controversial match that featured three code-of-conduct violations.
Williams’ performance on Tuesday sent a strong message that she is both healthy and powerful. Williams rolled her ankle during her fourth-round match, but there was no sign that it was any kind of hindrance in her quarterfinal.
“I’m feeling good. I had a really tough year, it started in January when I rolled my ankle,” Williams said. “I’m still here. Physically I’m feeling great and more than anything I’m just having fun when I come out here.”
U.S. Open match wins for Williams
Minutes for match
Total points won by Williams
Total points won by Wang