Serena breezes into semifinals
NEW YORK -- If Serena Williams is hoping for some solid preparation en route to defending her US Open title, it sure hasn't happened yet. Her latest barely-broke-a-sweat affair was a 6-0, 6-0 quarterfinal victory Tuesday night against No. 18 seed Carla Suarez Navarro.
It was the first "double bagel" in a Grand Slam women's quarterfinal since Martina Navratilova shut out Manuela Maleeva in the 1989 US Open.
Tuesday night's first set lasted all of 19 minutes and the match just 52 on the vanquished Spaniard's 25th birthday.
At one point in the first game of the second set, with Williams sitting on a sure winner, Suarez Navarro started walking to her chair. In the next game, a fan in Arthur Ashe Stadium could be heard shouting, "Come on Serena, give her a game."
But it wasn't to be in Suarez Navarro's first US Open quarterfinal as Williams won 88 percent of her first serves, and had 20 winners to her opponents' three and 53 points won versus 18.
"She's a great player but the conditions today were so tough, so it definitely was not her best tennis," Williams said of the windy night in her on-court interview.
"I've been here for what, 50 years? I've kind of gotten used to the conditions and even though it's difficult to play each year, I'm getting a little bit better at it."
Williams, 31, has dropped just 13 games in her five matches.
"I haven't thought about it yet," Williams said. "I'm still in the tournament and I'm not thinking about, like, I'm really dominant now. I'm just thinking, OK, I just have a really tough match in the next round and I really want to do well."
On a side note, the tournament's other top seed, Novak Djokovic, also finished his match with a shutout flourish in his 6-3, 6-0, 6-0 victory over another Spaniard, Marcel Granollers.
But Williams was not willing to call her performance "flawless" as Djokovic termed his.
"Of course not," she said. "I played good, though. I played really good. I was just more focused than anything. I like to believe there is always room for improvement."
Williams' semifinal opponent is No. 5 seed Li Na, 31, who needed three sets to beat No. 24 Ekaterina Makarova and who is 1-8 against Williams, her only victory coming in 2008.
"She's been playing [me] really close," Williams said. "Who knows? Maybe the next time we play she might want to go from close to a win, so I have to be ready for that."