Champion Stephens booted from US Open

Serena Williams rolls into US Open semifinals

Sevastova, who avenged last year's quarter-final loss to Stephens in NY to reach her first Grand Slam semi, converted five of her eight break points and saved seven of the nine against her on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court.

Indeed, the American has enjoyed the better of this rivalry to date, winning all three of their meetings - including a tie at the French Open earlier this year.

"Shocking, my first top-10 win", said Williams, who will face Anastasija Sevastova for the first time for a place in the final after the 19th seeded Latvian knocked out defending champion Sloane Stephens, the world number three.

Williams would rattle off eight wins a row, going up 4-0 in the second set, before Pliskova ended her streak and won the next two games. It would be Williams' first major since she won the 2017 Australian Open.

"So the fact that I made it to the quarter-finals and played some really good matches and I just competed as hard as I could, I mean [there's] a lot to be proud of". "I'm just on my way (back) on the tour and doing the best I can".

Following a harrowing childbirth in September of a year ago, Williams suffered a pulmonary embolism which consequently caused the wound from her C-section to open up. She struck three aces in her first two service games and was quickly up two breaks on Pliskova.

Her sluggish start against Pliskova came in the same 90-degree heat and 50-per cent humidity that hampered John Isner in his quarterfinal loss to Juan Martin del Potro on Tuesday afternoon, and Roger Federer in his fourth-round exit against John Millman a night earlier and prompted the tournament to suspend play in junior matches for a few hours. "Right now you're so in the tournament and you don't feel it".

Next up for the 28-year-old is Serena, who beat Pliskova later in the day to move into the semis.

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Sevastova broke the 25-year-old American's serve twice in the opening set, then broke her again to take a 2-0 lead in the second.

Alyssa Roenigk is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com whose assignments have taken her to six continents and caused her to commit countless acts of recklessness.

"I still know that no matter whether I'm in the semi-finals or the finals, I have a really long way to go to win that". Having achieved as much as Williams might make anyone complacent and a fan may not even have blamed her for hanging up her racquet - after all, she has more than proved her status as the Greatest of All Time.

Pliskova's game began to fall apart as Serena consolidated the break with her sixth and seventh ace while she skewed a poor backhand into the tramlines on break point and found herself 4-0 down looking like a woman who knows defeat is inevitable. I think she's still the strongest.

Keys: 'I felt good today.

"She's playing with the same power".

"She's 17, but she's not a player which should be 17", Pliskova said.

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