Serena Williams claimed her 100th win at the U.S. Open in style on Tuesday, dismantling her quarter-final opponent Wang Qiang 6-1 6-0 in a blistering 44-minute performance that ended any questions over a twisted ankle from the previous round.
“I never thought that I would get to 100,” Williams said after the match, reflecting on the two decades she’s spent playing at Flushing Meadows. “It’s so special. I never want to let it go.”
Serena now needs just one more victory to equal the all-time record held by Chris Evert.
“It’s really unbelievable, literally. From when I first started here, I think I was 16, I didn’t think I would ever get to 100. I didn’t think I would still be out here.”
The 27-year-old Wang had not lost a set en route to her first Grand Slam quarter-final, a run that included a defeat of reigning French Open champion Ashleigh Barty in the last 16.
However, she was powerless to stop the Williams onslaught at Arthur Ashe Stadium, winning just four points in the second set and 15 in total.
“When I play someone who is playing really well, I know I have to either step it up or go home and I wasn’t ready to go home. I had to come out here and play really well,” Williams said.
“Physically I’m feeling great. More than anything I’m just having fun every time I come out here.”
Williams is now two wins shy of capturing her 24th career Grand Slam title to match Margaret Court’s all-time record.
The 37-year-old American was dominant from the start, firing off 25 winners, compared to zero from 18th-seed Wang, and winning 90% of her first serve points.
During her fourth-round match on Sunday, Williams slipped and fell while running to the net and twisted her right ankle but said on Tuesday she was feeling “great”.
Williams faces fifth-seed Elina Svitolina in the semi-finals.