When Serena Williams matched Steffi Graf
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 18842
With 33 Major finals on her tally, Serena Williams stands second on the all-time list behind her compatriot Chris Evert, who has one more. Giving birth to a child in the closing stages of 2017, Serena returned to the court in the following season and fought in two Major finals at Wimbledon and the US Open.
Serena reached her 31st Major final at home in New York in 2018 to match Steffi Graf and trail only to Evert and Martina Navratilova. World no. 26 proved her timeless class and the desire to compete again, advancing into the title clash following a commanding 6-3, 6-0 win over the first-time Major semi-finalist Anastasija Sevastova in swift 66 minutes.
Serena did everything right against the Latvian, dropping 15 points on serve, facing two break points and getting broken once. The American hit 31 winners and 20 unforced errors to keep the points on her racquet, stealing 55% of the return points to create ten break chances and convert five for a one-sided triumph.
Serena Williams reached her 31st Major final at the 2018 US Open.
Serena rattled off the last seven games to sail into her ninth US Open final, 19 years after the first one in 1999, still at 17! Williams also became the oldest US Open finalist and the oldest player in a Major title clash since Martina Navratilova in 1991.
Serena improved her Major semi-final tally to an impressive 31-5, winning 17 out of 19 since 2010! Sevastova stood no chance against the mighty opponent, winning only 40 points and delivering powerless numbers of ten winners and unforced errors.
Serena had a massive advantage on her side, taking the ball early and destroying her opponent in the mid-range exchanges from five to eight strokes. Interestingly, Williams got broken in the encounter's opening game for a slow start, falling 2-0 behind before pulling the break back in the extended fourth game.
From that moment on, Serena was the only player on the court, taking charge in the opener and leaving the opponent far behind in the second to remain on the title course. Serena would lose the final to Naomi Osaka, reaching another in front of the home fans a year later and falling to another young gun Bianca Andreescu.
Williams was the US Open semi-finalist a year ago, and she missed the event this September due to an ongoing injury.