Serena Williams, without breaking a sweat, obliterated Qiang Wang 6-1, 6-0 in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Tuesday night. She’s now just two match wins from the 24th major title she needs to tie Margaret Court’s record. The first of those will have to come in Thursday’s semifinals, where she’ll face No. 5 Elina Svitolina.
Williams began the U.S. Open with a breezy first-round demolition of Maria Sharapova, but her matches since had felt, if only slightly, colored with suspense. Last week, Williams dropped the first set of a sloppy second-round match to 17-year-old Caty McNally 5-7 before rallying to win the next two 6-3, 6-1. She was her own harshest critic in the post-match interview: “‘Serena, you made way too many errors today. What were you thinking?’ But it’s OK, I’m alive. I’m still here. I’m happy to be on this court somehow and I’ll do better, I promise.”
And she did, skipping past Karolina Muchova in the third round, and then No. 22 Petra Martic in the fourth, but only after a rather scary-looking ankle roll.
No suspense tonight, though. None in the slightest. Nails went unbitten; it was not even close. Williams, her ankle evidently working just fine, steamrolled over Wang to win her 100th singles victory at the U.S. Open. Wang, who’d upset No. 2 Ash Barty this weekend, hit zero winners and at no point seemed to stand a chance.
The match was over in a downright tidy 44 minutes, tied for shortest finished match of the WTA season. Spectator Anna Wintour seemed to be enjoying herself, but chances are she’s a bit miffed. 44 minutes is less time than it took for her to get to Queens from her ritzy penthouse! What the hell is she supposed to do with the rest of her night?