American Serena Williams says she must perform to her best to have any chance of overcoming Elina Svitolina during their semi-final clash at the US Open (Svitolina 9/4, Williams 1/3 – Match odds).
The 37-year-old is aiming to win her 24th Grand Slam this month as she tries to equal Margaret Court’s singles record.
Williams must beat fifth seed Svitolina after the highest-ranked player cruised past Britain’s Johanna Konta on Tuesday.
In the previous five meetings between the pair, Williams has won four of their matches, but she is expecting a fight until the very end this time.
She told reporters: “Elina is obviously a fighter, she gets a lot of balls back. She doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. She’s one of those players that does everything really well, so I have to do everything well, too.”
In the other semi-final, Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic takes on Canada’s Bianca Andreescu as the pair both prepare for their first Grand Slam semis (Bencic 6/5, Andreescu 4/6).
Andreescu says she was “speechless” after overcoming Elise Mertens when she had to dig deep to win 3-6 6-2 6-3.
Bencic has reached the final four after proving too much for Donna Bekic, and she will now return to the top 10 in the world rankings for the first time in over three years.
Injuries have derailed her career since 2016, but she will have her work cut out as Andreescu is enjoying one of the best runs in her career.
She has won 11 matches in a row and collected two titles this season, coming out on top in Toronto while also winning the Indian Wells event in March.