NEW YORK: World number one Serena Williams broke through another barrier on Monday, as she won her 308th Grand Slam match which took her past Roger Federer for the most wins in major tournaments and into the quarter-finals of the US Open.
After the match, Serena said that she is really excited to know that she has won her 308th match. “Wow, it’s really exciting,” said Serena. “This is where it all started so it’s always so magical out here for me — 308 sounds pretty good.”
The World number one was never seriously challenged in a 6-2, 6-3 victory over 52nd-ranked Yaroslava Shvedova.
Serena will have a day off before tackling Simona Halep after the fifth-seeded Romanian’s 6-2, 7-5 victory over Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro.
Despite injury fears sparked by the sore shoulder that hampered her at the Rio Olympics, Serena has barely been challenged since arriving at Flushing Meadows, where she claimed the first of her six US Open titles in 1999.
She has reached the business end of the tournament without dropping a set or indeed even dropping her serve. She has faced just one break point in four matches.
A seventh US Open title would take her past the record she shares with Chris Evert, and would also break the Open Era record she shares with Steffi Graf of 22 Grand Slam crowns.
Halep, beaten in seven of eight prior encounters with Williams, was already bracing for the challenge. “She’s like the best player in the world. I don’t have to be afraid or to have emotions because I have nothing to lose,” Halep said. “It’s just a huge challenge for me.”
The tantalizing prospect of a semi-final clash between Williams and her sister Venus evaporated as the elder Williams fell to hard-hitting Czech Karolina Pliskova 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3).