Serena Williams fought through a challenging match-up on Arthur Ashe stadium last evening with Karolina Pliskova to set up her fourth US Open semi-final.
Williams only really got going second set after coming through some tennis games in the first and showed her fighting spirit and willpower to wear Pliskova down like she has down to countless amounts of opponents before.
Pliskova takes the early lead
The Czech world number 8 managed to get out the starting blocks quickly by converting her third brake point, and taking an early 2-1 lead over Serena.
From then on it went by serve with Pliskova serving out comfortably to 15 to maintain her 1 game lead and go 3-1 up. For Williams her service game wasn't so easy with Pliskova getting into her element ready to brake Williams again. However, the six time US Open champion kicked up the intensity a little bit by producing some hard hitting serves to save a break point down from 40-30.
It took five deuces for Williams to finally hold her serve, it was clear at this point that advantage was in the Czech's favour with Williams having to work a lot harder.
A break from the number 17 seed imminent with Pliskova only just managing to hold on to her serve surviving two break point scares to remain 4-2 up.
Williams fights back
It took Williams a while to get into it but it was inevitable that the American eventually would fight back, and in this game she did delivering punishing hard forehands which forced the errors out of Pliskova .
The next game was a comfortable service hold to 15 for the world number 17 who definitely felt more comfortable in the match now.
The tennis quality went up at 5-4 with both players finding their rhythm and the extensive rallies being fought out. A piercing backhand off Pliskova's serve set up advantage point for point for Williams but the Czech produced a cracking serve to level it back at deuce. The firepower was too strong for the number eight seed however with Williams firing her through to take the set 6-4.
Even with 22 unforced errors in the first set, Williams still managed to find her a way through with the killer instinct she possess on court.
Williams powers through second set
The first set could have gone either way with both players having their fair share of chances. However, the second set proved to be more of one sided affair for Williams taking the first game easily taking her tally to five games in a row which she had won.
The next two games were total demolition from the American not giving the Czech any breathing space, having broke Pliskova's serve to love and holding on to her own serve in similar devastating fashion.
Williams managed to race into a 4-0 lead with all momentum now shifted onto the American who was looking to close this match out quickly.
Pliskova did show heart to hold her own service game by not want to give up entirely to the all mighty Serena. There was a bit of a scare for Williams in the sixth game with Pliskova being gifted four break point chances, but it was Williams raising her own level which won the game for the American and with an emphatic roar Williams was 5-2 up and one game away from reaching the semi-final.
Pliskova did manage to hold serve to get another game on the board to make it 5-3 but Serena's service game was just too strong for the Czech with three aces being served up with an easy hold to love.
Overall as far as stats go Williams hit an impressive 35 winners with 13 aces being served up by Serena, in the end she was just too strong for Pliskova especically in the second set where Williams raised her level,and will now continue on and try and achieve her seventh US Open title.