NEW YORK: Serena Williams earned her 100th win at the US Open on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) with a brutal 44-minute demolition of Wang Qiang, firing an ominous warning to rivals in her pursuit of record-tying 24th Grand Slam title.
Six-time US Open champion Williams dismantled Chinese 18th seed Wang 6-1, 6-0 in a complete mismatch that was the quickest at this year’s tournament to set up a semi-final clash with Ukrainian trailblazer Elina Svitolina.
“Wow, wow,” said Williams, who brought up a century of US Open wins to move to within one of the all-time leader Chris Evert.
“It’s really unbelievable, literally. From when I first started here, I think I was 16, I didn’t think I would ever get to 100. I didn’t think I would still be out here.”
Williams, who is seeking a 24th major title to match Margaret Court’s longstanding record, smacked 25 winners against first-time Slam quarter-finalist Wang, who failed to hit a single one.
The 27-year-old Wang had not lost a set during her best Slam run that included a defeat of reigning French Open champion Ashleigh Barty in the last 16, but she was powerless to stop a Williams onslaught at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Wang, trying to become just the fourth Chinese player to reach the last four of a Slam, won just four points in the second set and 15 in total.
“When I play someone who is playing really well, I know I have to either step it up or go home and I wasn’t ready to go home. I had to come out here and play really well,” Williams said.
“Physically I’m feeling great. More than anything I’m just having fun every time I come out here.”
Williams captured her last Slam title at the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant and hasn’t won the US Open since 2014.
Fifth seed Svitolina defeated Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-4 to become the first Ukrainian to reach the US Open semi-finals, advancing to the last four at a second consecutive Slam after matching her run to the Wimbledon semifinals in July.