Serena Williams made it to the semi-finals of the US Open for the fourteenth time. The six-time winner in New York defeated Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Pironkova surprised at her return after three years earlier Garbine Muguruza, Donna Vekic and Alizé Cornet and seemed on her way to a stunt against the 23-time grandslam winner, who preyed on Margaret Courts record (24 titles).
The 32-year old Bulgarian initially looked fitter, moved more smoothly over the court than the six-year older American and decided the first set a beautiful backhand, the weapon with which she had also taken the decisive break at 3-2.
The start of the second set did not bode well for Williams either, as the sometimes puffing and shuffling American immediately lost her serve, but the game then turned around.
Carelessness crept into Pironkovas hitherto almost flawless play, who handed in her service with a forehand in the net and at 3-4, again with a poor forehand, took the decisive break.
Pironkova was immediately broken in the third set in a marathon game and could not turn the tide. Williams, whose solid service (20 aces) and forehand returns were again a powerful weapon, finished the job with a love game.
Williams invariably reached at least the semifinals in her last eleven participations in the US Open. In only two seasons Williams did not reach a single grand final (1998 and 2006).
To reach the final, she has to settle in the semi-finals with the winner of the game between Viktorya Azarenka and Elise Mertens. The other finalist is from the match between Jennifer Brady and Naomi Osaka.