Serena Williams Romps at U.S. Open and Will Face Ekaterina Makarova in the Semis



Serena Williams Romps at U.S. Open and Will Face Ekaterina Makarova in the Semis,Three games into her match against Flavia Pennetta on Wednesday night, Serena Williams had been broken twice and trailed by 3-0. So relieved and excited to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal for the first time this year, Williams seemed to be facing the ghosts of her lost majors again. But she did not see it that way.“I felt like it’s not the end of the world,” Williams said. “You can just win one game at a time.”Williams did that six times in a row to take the first set and dominated the second for a 6-3, 6-2 victory over the 11th-seeded Pennetta. Williams, the two-time defending United States Open champion, has a 19-match winning streak in Flushing Meadows. Rather than adding pressure, lackluster losses at the previous three majors have helped Williams relax.“It’s so easy now because it’s almost a joke for me because I have done little to no winning in the majors,” she said, adding: “I don’t have to win anymore. Everything now is just extra.” The top-seeded Williams is the only woman among the top nine seeds to reach the semifinals, but having lost to opponents ranked 14th, 24th and 35th at Grand Slam events this year, she is not taking her favorite status for granted.“I’ve had a tough year in majors,” Williams said. “You can never underestimate anyone.” Williams will face No. 17 seed Ekaterina Makarova on Friday. The other semifinal pits unseeded Peng Shuai of China against No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark. Williams is 3-1 against Makarova, with the loss coming in the fourth round of the 2012 Australian Open.Before the tournament, the victory had been among Makarova’s career highlights in singles at a major. But after a 6-4, 6-2 victory over No. 16 Victoria Azarenka, Makarova is in her first Grand Slam semifinal. She has not dropped a set in the tournament.  SEE MORE ON PAGE2

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