Aug 22 (Reuters) - Serena Williams brushed off some serving troubles before cruising to a 6-4 6-3 win over Elina Svitolina on Saturday and will meet Simona Halep in the Western & Southern Open final.
Williams’s serve was off for a second consecutive match in Cincinnati and she committed 34 unforced errors but the world number one was never under serious threat from the 14th-seeded Ukrainian.
The American will bid to complete a calendar grand slam at her home U.S. Open from Aug. 31, a pursuit that kept her early struggles in perspective on Saturday.
“I wanted to not worry about this match, but worry about the next few matches and next few weeks and start playing better for that,” Williams said in an on-court interview.
“I got off to a super slow start today but I started going for it and I think that helped me out.”
She will defend her title against Romanian Halep who routed Jelena Jankovic 6-1 6-2 in the late semi-final.
Williams was broken early in the opening set, but her opponent could not keep the momentum or capitalize on the American’s eight double-faults for the match.
Williams laced two straight backhand winners to break Svitolina’s serve to move to 3-1 in the second set.
The 20-year-old Ukrainian broke back but Williams responded in kind to take control before sealing the match with an ace.
Halep’s semi-final win secured her the second seeding behind Williams at the U.S. Open.
The aggressive base-liner converted seven of 10 break-points and was thrilled with her performance.
“I played great tennis tonight. I was confident and I think that’s why I played my best tennis,” she said.
“I have my chance tomorrow (against Williams) but I expect a tough match. With her you never know; you can win, maybe, or you can lose fast.”
Writing by Jahmal Corner; Editing by Ian Ransom