Williams powers into ninth  US Open final

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Serena Williams will bid for a record seventh US Open title on Saturday

By Jonathan Jurejko at Flushing Meadows

SERENA Williams has another shot at winning her first Grand Slam title since giving birth after defeating Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova last night  in their US Open semi-final.

Williams, beaten by Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon final in July, won 6-3 6-0 against 19th seed Sevastova.

The 36-year-old will play either fellow American Madison Keys or Japan’s Naomi Osaka in Saturday’s final.

Victory will equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.

The American will contest her 31st major final and her ninth in New York.

Williams back to her best

Williams was out of the game for over a year after announcing her pregnancy in April 2017 and then giving birth to daughter Olympia last September.

That meant she missed her home Grand Slam last year but has returned to Flushing Meadows looking not far away from her best.

A dominant win over older sister Venus laid down a significant marker in the third round before a straight-set win over Czech eighth seed Karolina Pliskova in the quarter-finals showed she was able to compete with the world’s best players once again.

That meant she came into the semi-final as the favourite against a player who had never before reached a Grand Slam semi-final.

But the ease with which she ran away with the match – winning 11 of the final 12 games and dropping just seven points in the second set – was startling.

“This is just the beginning. I’m only a few months in and really looking forward to the rest of the year and next year,” Williams said.

Attacking Williams blunts Sevastova

Williams had actually made a slow start in front of an expectant crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium, which had the roof closed because of rain and thunderstorms at Flushing Meadows.

She lost her serve in the very first game and trailed 2-0 before winning four in a row to take command.

Williams started to find her range and her power could not be contained by Sevastova.

More striking was the former world number one’s willingness to come forward, approaching the net on 28 occasions and winning 24 of those points.

Once she took the first set in 39 minutes there was no way back for Sevastova.

Williams hit 14 winners in the 25 points she needed to take the second set in 27 minutes.(BBC Sport)