US Open: Serena Seeks Record 24th Grand Slam, Faces Svitolina In Semis

Former world number one, Serena Williams will be looking to clinch her 24th Grand slam and equal Margaret Court’s record when she faces Elina Svitolina in Thursday’s US Open semi-final.

A run to the last four in New York, bookended by crushing routs of long-time foe Maria Sharapova and China’s Wang Qiang, brought up a century of US Open wins for Williams, chasing her first Slam crown since the 2017 Australian Open.

Williams holds a 4-1 career advantage over Svitolina, but the Ukrainian triumphed in their most recent encounter — a third-round clash at the Olympics in Rio.

“That was a tough Olympics for me. Oh, man. Lost in doubles for the first time. Just really devastated about that doubles loss. Then obviously singles shortly after,” Williams recalled after her 6-1, 6-0 quarter-final demolition of Wang in just 44 minutes.

Speaking of Svitolina, “She is obviously a fighter. She gets a lot of balls back. She doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. She’s one of those players that does everything really well. So I have to do everything well, too,” Williams said.

Svitolina retains fond memories of her 6-4, 6-3 victory over defending Olympic champion Williams in Brazil, a watershed moment which came scarcely two months after she was throttled 6-1, 6-1 by the American at Roland Garros.

“It was an unbelievable atmosphere. I played actually a great match. I was very young. Not very young, but I was kind of young at the time. I didn’t have big wins at that time. For me, it gave me lots of confidence,” Svitolina said.

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“It gave me the confidence to actually let me believe that I can play consistently against the top players.”

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