Serena crushes Pennetta to reach Open semi-final
By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two-times defending champion Serena Williams, in her black and white leopard dress, started quietly before roaring past 11th seed Flavia Pennetta 6-3 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of the U.S. Open on Wednesday.
The world number one lost her first two service games to Pennetta to fall behind 3-0 before snapping to attention and rattling off the next six games to claim the first set.
"She was playing really well and she was playing very aggressive," said Williams. "So I had to just step up my level of game as well."
Determined to make up for a disappointing grand slam season in which she failed to reach the quarter-finals in any of the three previous majors, Williams broke her fellow 32-year-old in the fifth and seventh games to advance in 63 minutes.
The top seed will meet Russian 17th seed Ekaterina Makarova, who reached her first grand slam semi-final with a 6-4 6-2 victory over 16th seed Victoria Azarenka, runner-up to Williams in the last two Opens.
Pennetta was disappointed to have lost, but not disappointed with the quality of her tennis against the 17-times grand slam singles winner.
"She was really good today. I think we play really good tennis tonight. I mean, really strong tennis in everything," said the Italian. "Today, I push so much and she come in with the best tennis, I think."
The match was played at a high level, but once Williams got rolling she was hard to stop, blasting 17 winners in the second set for 31 in total. Continued...