*Flushing, NY – Whether it’s someone’s birthday or someone is mourning death, tennis can give two bleeps about it! You can still lose a match. Serena Williams did the damage on both occasions, but we’re gonna stick with our story of blaming “the game.” You know … “don’t hate the player, hate the …”
That said, in just 44 minutes Serena Williams brutally demolished Wang Quiang, affectionately known as “Q,” on Arthur Ashe court to advance to the US Open semis, 6-1, 6-0. It was their quarterfinal final matchup, Q having earned her spot by canceling out former world no. 1 and no. 2 seed, Ashleigh Barty of Australia, 6-2, 6-4. During Tuesday night’s lopsided affair, Serena blasted 24 winners past the shell-shocked 18th seed, while she was unable to hit a single one.
Q should’ve known trouble was brewing when she saw Serena make her way down the player’s tunnel just before the match started wearing that black catsuit. She had only worn the outfit to drag her nemesis, Maria Sharapova, 6-1, 6-1 in a jaw-dropping display of power and precision several nights before. But the Chinese had specific instructions from her optimistic coach to “play the Serena of 2019, not her illustrious record … she’s not the same Serena.” But that made not a bit of difference.
Outside of the match against Sharapova, the last time the 6-time champion dismissed one of her colleagues with such ease in a quarterfinal was when she took out Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro on her birthday in 2013, 6-0, 6-0 (hence the intro). As for Q, she had been out of the game for a spell due to the sudden loss of her coach, Peter McNamara, to prostate cancer and this was the first tourney since then that she seemed to have put the loss behind her and find her game again. She just happened to meet up with another woman with a compelling backstory.
Serena is still on her quest to equal Margaret Courts record number of Grand Slams, 24, and she’s on par to do so if she continues the form she displayed on Tuesday night. She’s been stalled, appearing in six finals, since she earned #23, so it’s still not a given that she’ll get there. But, the step she took tonight (on Q’s neck) put her just two matches away from her goal. The win also marked her 100th match win at the US Open, just one win way from equaling Chris Evert.
”It feels good,” she said of the easy win. “It feels like, okay, this is what I’ve been training for. This is how hard I’ve been working. It feels like, you know, hard work pays off when that happens.”
She’ll next face Elena Svitolina in a semifinal on Thursday night.