Serena Williams v Karolina Pliskova: US Open quarter-final

Sloane Stephens reacts after missing a shot against Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament Tuesday Sept. 4 2018 in New York

A seventh US Open title would see the American equal Margaret Court's Grand Slam haul but Williams has lost her last two semi-finals in NY. The one Naomi endured was inflicted by Keys here in 2016, when the American came roaring back from a 5-1 deficit in the third set of their third-round clash to beat then-18-year-old Osaka.

Williams was on track to meet Stephens in the semi-finals but her third-seeded countrywoman was dumped out of the tournament via a 6-2, 6-3 loss to 19th seed Anastasija Sevastova.

Williams had to fight off three break points against her in the fifth game and was unable to convert two break points on Pliskova's serve in the sixth game.

It was Williams' first win over a top-10 player as a mum. And then now I feel like it's sort of like business again.I have played her a lot, so I already know how she plays, and I know that she's a very powerful player. In other words: It's time to stop hedging predictions and start expecting Williams to win this tournament and tie Margaret Court's all-time record for major wins.

A match that looked to be in question for Serena Williams early on turned into yet another dominating performance by the six-time US Open champion on Tuesday night. She can also quickly be back in the match with a couple games or couple shots.

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Karolina Pliskova, projected to move as high as No.7 (depending on Osaka's result), gained a 4-2 lead but struggled to raise her level when Serena went from bad to deadly towards the end of the first set and lost 8 straight games from that moment.

"The second set, she was just mixing the serve".

"I don't think I have another 10 years of having opportunities to be able to play and win championships".

Stephens looked a step behind from the start of the match and failed to convert seven break points in the first set against Sevastova, which put her in a risky position against a woman who entered the match having broken her opponent's serve a tournament-leading 23 times. That year, she beat already five-time Grand Slam victor Martina Hingis - the unstoppable World No 1, for her title - and summarily also took doubles honours with her sister Venus, the pair's second Grand Slam title.

The world number 26 got off to a slow start against her Czech opponent, serving up a host of double faults and errors, which the eighth seed Pliskova capitalised on to race into a 3-1 lead.

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"When you don't play big points well, the match can get away from you", she said. I was struggling also a little bit, but I didn't show it that much.

Williams has 23 Majors, surpassing past year the record she shared with Steffi Graf and setting a new Open Era record.

"I saw that she was struggling".

At this level, at this stage of the tournament, Sevastova is going to have her work cut out for her.

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