Serena Williams battled again from a separate in the first set to beat Czech eighth seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-3 and achieve the semi-finals of the US Open in choking out conditions on Tuesday.
The 36-year-old, who is offering for a record seventh title at Flushing Meadows too her 24th vocation Grand Slam crown, began drowsily at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, enabling Pliskova to take a 3-1 lead in the opening set.
Junior matches outwardly courts suspended before in the day, Williams made 22 unforced mistakes in the opening set but showed all of her big-match pedigree to fight back and finish off the set by winning the last four diversions.
“The crowd was really rooting for me and I felt so bad because everyone out here was cheering and I wasn’t winning so I thought I had to try harder,” Williams said courtside.
“I really feel like right now I’m playing free. I was having a baby this time last year so I have nothing to prove.”
The second set was undeniably agreeable for the number 17 seed. Two progressive breaks of serve enabled Williams to win her eighth game in succession and open up a 4-0 lead, and she saw off a concise fightback from Pliskova before sending down her thirteenth expert to seal the match in one hour and 26 minutes.
“When I get to a Grand Slam, I feel I want to play really hard. I want to do really well. I love this game so maybe that’s why” included Williams, who was beaten by Pliskova in the 2016 semi-finals.
Next up for the American is a semi-last conflict with nineteenth seed Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia.