Despite losing the opening set and going down a break in the second, Williams fought back to end Pironkova’s magical run. The former World No.1 is now at 44-42 after dropping the first set at grand slams – the most come-from-behind wins in the Open Era. The American hammered a whopping 20 aces during the quarterfinal match, considerably improving her service games.
During the post-match press conference, Williams revealed the secret behind her incisive aces during the match. The 23-time grand slam champion remarked that this is what we should expect from her going forward in the tournament.
“You know, sometimes when I’m serving, I just tell myself, I don’t care if my arm falls off, I’m going to keep serving. And that’s the attitude I need to have. I didn’t know I hit 20 aces in this match until my coach told me after. So I was, like, Okay. For me it’s about serving the whole tournament.”
The 6-time US Open champion added that she was frustrated at herself for serving poorly in the last year’s US Open final. Williams had lost to Bianca Andreescu in straight sets and just got 39% of her first serves in.
“Last year was really frustrating because I couldn’t serve in the final, so I’m just hoping that I can just serve better consistently this time,” admitted Williams after reaching her 11th straight US Open semifinal.
Serena Williams to face Azarenka in the last four
Williams has set up a blockbuster clash with Victoria Azarenka in the semifinal of the US Open 2020. Azarenka powered her way to the penultimate stage by beating No.16 seed Elise Mertens in the quarterfinals.
Azarenka has played against Serena 22 times in her career, with Williams winning 18 of those battles. The American has defeated Azarenka in the 2012 and 2013 US Open final. Serena is two matches away from winning a record 24th grand slam title.