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ON-SONG SERENA POWERS INTO SEMIS

2015-6-4


PARIS, France - There were ups and downs in her last three rounds, as she had to battle back from a set down to win all of them - but it was all ups and no downs on Court Philippe Chatrier on Wednesday, as Serena Williams powered past Sara Errani in straight sets to reach the French Open semifinals.

Errani always seems to bring out her best in Paris - going into this match she had won 19 of her last 22 matches here, including a fairytale run to her first major final in 2012, falling to Maria Sharapova.

But the No.17-seeded Errani was no match for the No.1-seeded Williams in this quarterfinal clash, as Williams hit 39 winners to 23 unforced errors to cruise through in an hour and six minutes, 6-1, 6-3.

Williams has always thrived in this match-up - she's now an impressive 9-0 lifetime against Errani.

"The last four French Opens in a row she's been to the quarterfinals or better, so I knew I had to be really focused today," Williams said. "She does so well here, and she really fights for every point."

Williams was also serving fantastically in the match - she was only broken once in eight service games, compared to getting broken four times in each of her last three matches. What changed this time?

"I wasn't able to serve well in my first couple of matches here because I hurt my arm in Madrid, and in Rome I had to pull out," she said. "In my first few matches I thought maybe I shouldn't serve too big, but now I'm feeling a little better. It's obviously a big part of my game - I really missed it a lot."

And now, a round Williams thrives in - she's an amazing 23-3 in her career in Grand Slam semifinals.

"Definitely it's pretty awesome for me," the World No.1 said about getting to the semifinals.

"I haven't had a great clay court season, so I'm pretty excited to have gotten this far. Hopefully I can keep going. Nothing's guaranteed - at this point I'm just fighting to stay in the tournament."

Awaiting Williams in the semifinals will be No.23 seed Timea Bacsinszky, who beat No.93-ranked WTA Rising Star Alison Van Uytvanck in straight sets in the other quarterfinal of the day (read more here).

Williams has beaten Bacsinszky in both of their previous meetings, including at Indian Wells this year.

"She's a good player," Williams said. "What I think about most when I think of her is she's a major fighter. You can have a match point, be up a set, and she's not going to give up. And she's had a really good year - so I have to come out strong again, I need to relax, and just do the best that I can do.

"I'm not putting too much pressure on myself. I'm surprised I'm still in the tournament."



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