Serena Williams will once again be feeling the pressure as she edges closer to a return to the US Open final and another attempt at adding to her slam tally. She may well be relieved there will be no rematch with Naomi Osaka in the final but must first get past Qiang Wang before thinking about that.
A disciplined performance from the Chinese star saw her shock Ashleigh Barty with a fairly routine 6-4 6-2 victory, earning her the first slam quarter final of her career. She hit just 14 unforced errors in victory, making Barty look far from the No.1 player she is. “I think I’m really focused on the court today,” she said. “I really enjoyed the way I played… I tried to play more patient today.”
It was fairly routine for Serena in her 6-3 6-4 win over Petra Martic, at least in terms of the on court action. A late ankle turn will have raised worries but she is confident everything will be ok. “Ankle, I usually know if it’s horrible early on,” Williams stated. “I had a really bad ankle sprain in January. I was like, instantly, ‘No, this can’t happen. I’m finally healthy.’ But I’ll see tomorrow. So far I’m good. I have been managing it. We’ll see tomorrow.”
Serena remains the favourite for the tournament and until proven otherwise – injury and her own self doubts remain the biggest threat to No. 24. “For me, I have to be the greatest whether it’s against the second seed, the No. 1 seed, or the No. 80th player in the world. I have to show up or else I’m going to go home.” Serena said on the pressures she faces. “I feel like in this tournament, I guess, I have definitely turned a different zone,” Williams added. “I’m not sure if I can articulate what zone that is. But it’s not about kind, it’s not to myself, it’s not about anything in particular. It’s definitely something different, though
Prediction- Serena Williams in straight sets