US Open: Serena Williams survives Pliskova test to reach semi-finals

Author: Rosalind K. Amoh
Serena Williams cruises on to her ninth consecutive US Open semi-finals
Serena Williams cruises on to her ninth consecutive US Open semi-finals

Serena Williams is through to a ninth consecutive semi-finals of the US Open after surviving a stern test yet, to win 6-4 6-3 against Karolina Pliskova on Tuesday.

Williams, seeded 17th, dug deep to lift herself from a  4-2 trail in the first set, and recovered to win in two straight sets against the Czech eighth seed.

The American, who have won US Open six times, is seeking her first Grand Slam trophy since giving birth to daughter Olympia last September.

Serena Williams returns a backhand against Karolina Pliskova

The 36-year-old Williams has reached the semi-finals in her past nine appearances at Flushing Meadows, although she missed the tournament in 2010 with a foot injury and last year due to her pregnancy.

If she wins it would be her 24th major title -- equalling Australian Margaret Court's all-time record.

"I don't think I have another 10 years of having opportunities to be able to play and win championships," said former world number one Williams.

"Every match really means a lot to me. I kind of go out there and I just do the best that I can," she said the post game interview.

Williams' semi-finals opponent on Thursday will be 19th seed Anastasija Sevastova, who knocked out American defending champion Sloane Stephens earlier on Tuesday.

The American has struggled to get back to her devastating form since the birth of Olympia, with the US Open being only the eighth tournament she is competing in since her return from maternity leave.

There have been doubts over whether she would  able to withstand the pressure from high profile players like herself, especially, considering how she lot to Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon final.

Karolina Pliskova took a 4-2 first set lead, before succumbing 4-6, 3-6

However, at Flushing Meadows, she has proved she still has what it takes to play at such high level. In the quarter-final game against Pliskova, she won eight games in a row - four at the end of the first and four at the start of the second - to help her secure victory in one hour 26 minutes.

"I feel like I'm at a level where I can play and try to compete against these amazing women in the top 10," said Williams, who had lost her three previous matches against top-10 players.