Serena Shines At Night, Final Four Complete
Published September 05, 2012 12:00
NEW YORK, NY, USA - Serena Williams snapped up the last spot in the semifinals of the US Open under the lights on Wednesday night, taking just 58 minutes to dominate a resurgent Ana Ivanovic in the quarterfinals, 61 63.
The two had comparable unforced errors in the match - Williams 14, Ivanovic 13 - but Williams hit almost three times the winners as Ivanovic, 26 to 9, and like all three of their previous meetings the No.4 seed beat the No.12 seed in two.
"I felt solid," Williams declared in her post-match press conference. "In the second set I could have stayed focused a little more, but she played a little better also. That's when it's really important to get refocused, though."
Williams was then asked about criticizing her performance having won in under an hour. "Gosh, that does sound pretty bad, huh?" she said. "I didn't mean to sound bad. Ana did play better in the second set and definitely put a lot more pressure on me. It feels good to play like that in the quarterfinals and especially against Ana Ivanovic. She's been No.1 and has a Grand Slam under her belt."
The 14-time Grand Slam champion and former World No.1 also gave the press room a glimpse into her confidence when they asked her whether she thought she would play given the gloomy, rainy forecast. "Today Sasha said I probably won't play," Williams said, Sasha being her hitting partner. "I said, 'I will.'"
Williams will next play No.10 seed Sara Errani. Williams has beaten Errani in all three of their previous meetings, though they haven't met in more than three years, and Errani wasn't ranked in the Top 30 in any of those meetings.
"I feel like I'm going to get more focused and serious and start playing Serena tennis in the next couple of rounds, if I get to play two rounds, that's my goal," Williams said. "I don't think I came into this tournament playing my best, but I've played better in the last two matches. I hope I have two left. I'll give 200%."
Ivanovic doesn't leave without good memories. Not only did she reach her first US Open quarterfinal, completing her collection of Grand Slam quarterfinals, but she also reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal since winning the French Open in 2008 - putting an end to a streak of 17 pre-quarterfinal exits.
"Overall I'm very satisfied," Ivanovic said. "I played some really good tennis to get into this position, and even tonight I felt I was striking the ball so nicely on both sides. That's something I've worked hard for. It's a big step for me."
And on whether she would be surprised if Williams doesn't end up with the title?
"Yeah, very," she said.