After a shaky start, Serena Williams is through to the US Open semi-finals. Picture: MPI04/Capital Pictures/MEGA
After a shaky start, Serena Williams is through to the US Open semi-finals. Picture: MPI04/Capital Pictures/MEGA

Colossal Serena claims sweet Open revenge

WORLD No.26 Serena Williams has advanced to the US Open semi-finals after blitzing Karolina Pliskova in straight sets.

Williams' serve was shaky to begin the match as she offered up a number of double faults to hand the Czech star a double break, but the 23-time grand slam champ found her feet midway through the first set and won eight games in a row.

Williams' streak was broken along with her serve as Pliskova capitalised on another double fault to bring the second set to 4-1. She then served her way through a love game to claw back to 4-2.

Pliskova squandered three break point opportunities as Williams served herself to a comfortable 5-2, but the Czech star still had gas in the tank as she worked the 36-year-old around the court with some stunning winners at the net.

But it was all too little too late for the world No.9 as Williams served a love game to take the match via an ace.

It was a sweet piece of payback for the American star who was sensationally sent spiralling by Pliskova at Flushing Meadows in 2016, ousting her from a colossal 186-week reign atop the WTA rankings.

Defending champion Sloane Stephens was also eliminated, beaten by Anastasija Sevastova 6-2 6-3.

Stephens beat Sevastova in the same round last year en route to her first grand slam title, but she missed numerous chances to grab an early lead in the rematch and could never get back into the match.

"You don't win matches when you don't take your opportunities," Stephens said.

In her first grand slam semi-final, Sevastova, the No.19 seed from Latvia, will play Williams.

- AP