Though no were fans in attendance, America was watching Wednesday at noon as Serena Williams defied all odds in this year’s U.S. Open.
The six-time U.S. Open champion advanced past Maria Sakkari, 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-3 in the fourth round of the tournament on Sept. 7, marking her 100th win in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Her victory became the most by any player, even more astonishing given her age at 38.
And on Wednesday, Williams defeated Bulgarian star Tsvetana Pironkova 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the tourney’s semifinal round.
Although she has lost her last four Grand Slam tournaments dating back to 2016, Williams now has an opportunity to win her 24th, which would tie Margaret Court’s distinguished record.
Before the match, Pironkova paid homage to Williams.
“Playing such a champion, such a legend of the game, it’s a tremendous honor,” Pironkova said of Williams.
Despite making light work of Kristie Ahn and Margarita Gasparyan in the first two rounds, Williams showed her resiliency during the third round against Sloane Stephens after dropping the first set. However, the former Olympic gold medalist took control the rest of the way (6-2, 6-2) to survive and advance.
Williams showed that her powerful serve is still potent and consistent against Stephens, notching 13 aces to only two double faults.
“Every tournament I enter is important to me,” Williams said. “I’m always going to bring that fire and that passion and that Serena to the court.”
After defeating Ahn, Williams passed Chris Evert for the most career wins (102) in U.S. Open history among both male or female players. So far, Williams has won 828 matches including 73 singles titles and has 23 doubles trophies in her repertoire.
Though she appears at the top of her game, Williams has been battling health issues for some time now, including pulmonary embolism and hematoma. Both conditions require constant medications and she even faced death while giving birth to her daughter Olympia.
Despite all of the curves that life has thrown her way, Williams remains a model of consistency and success.
Notwithstanding the outcome of yet another magical U.S. Open run, Williams leaves viewers and fans in awe at what she has accomplished and how her achievements will both impact the game and other players for generations to come.