September 8, 2012 in Sports

Serena Williams powers into U.S. Open final

Howard Fendrich Associated Press
 

Williams
(Full-size photo)

NEW YORK – The latest woman to absorb a lopsided loss against Serena Williams thinks the 14-time Grand Slam champion should take on a new challenge.

“Given that men are always quick to say women are a lot worse … I’d love to see her play in a (lower-level) men’s tournament and see how they deal with her. It’s easy to talk. On the court, it would be different,” the 10th-seeded Sara Errani said.

“I’ve practiced with a lot of guys ranked 400th or 500th,” Errani explained. “I’ve never played with a man who hits as hard as she does.”

Williams wasted little time or energy while overwhelming Italy’s Errani 6-1, 6-2 on Friday night to reach the final and move one victory away from a fourth U.S. Open championship. With a 38-6 edge in winners and nine aces to raise her tournament-leading total to 50, Williams needed only 64 minutes to dismiss Errani, the runner-up at the French Open.

Not only has Williams won every set she’s played, she’s dropped a total of only 19 games across six matches.

Indeed, Errani found some satisfaction in forcing Williams to stay on court for more than an hour.

“My objective,” Errani said, “was to prolong the match as much as possible.”

In tonight’s final, the fourth-seeded Williams will face top-ranked Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who beat Maria Sharapova in three sets earlier Friday. Williams is 9-1 against Azarenka.

It was 12 months ago that Williams was stunned in straight sets in the U.S. Open final by Sam Stosur of Australia. Facing a break point at the start of the second set, Williams pounded a forehand she celebrated with her familiar yell of “Come on!” But she screamed as Stosur was reaching to return the shot. The chair umpire awarded the point to Stosur, setting Williams off on a series of insults directed at the official, including, “You’re just unattractive inside.”

When a reporter mentioned to Williams, who won the U.S. Open in 1999, 2002 and 2008, that nothing of that sort has happened this year, she replied: “Hey, it’s not done yet.”

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