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IN US OPEN | Serena faces Azarenka in semis

Serena Williams came from a set down to beat fellow mother Tsvetana Pironkova and reach the semi-finals of the US Open yesterday.

The American third seed overcame the unseeded Bulgarian 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in 2hr 12min inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Williams will play former world number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who demolished Belgium’s Elise Mertens in straight sets, in the semi-finals.

Azarenka thrashed the 16th seed 6-1, 6-0 in just 1hr 13min inside an empty Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The 38-year-old Williams is chasing a 24th singles Grand Slam title that would equal Margaret Court’s record.

But a sluggish start to the match almost saw her hopes dashed as a more energetic Pironkova broke Williams in game five to take an early lead.

“I’m happy to be standing here talking to you because at one point I think I was pretty close to not being here,” Williams told an on-court interviewer.

Pironkova, herself a mother, only returned to tennis this year following a three-year absence from the circuit.

In men’s draw, fifth seed Alexander Zverev defeated BornaCoric in four sets to reach the semi-finals.

The German overcame the 27th-seeded Croatian 1-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/1), 6-3 in 3hr 25min inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The 23-year-old Zverev said he stepped on the gas after finding himself a set down, and 4-2 behind in the second set.

“I just started playing maybe a little bit more aggressive because if I would have played the way I played it’s not the level for a quarter-final match of a Grand Slam,” he said.*AFP

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