As the enormity of what she had achieved washed over her, Bianca Andreescu finally gave in to her emotions.

The 19-year-old Canadian has been the definition of composure, laser focused on one goal – winning her first grand slam title at the US Open in her main draw debut.

However, having achieved that dream by stunning Serena Williams and denying the American great a record-tying 24th grand slam with a 6-3 7-5 victory at Flushing Meadows, she allowed that composure to slip.

Andreescu sank to the court in what looked to be a combination of relief, disbelief and exhaustion after completing her triumph and in her post-match media conference she broke down while reflecting on what the success meant to her.

Asked how she visualised the match going, a tearful Andreescu replied: "This wasn't the only time I visualised playing in the finals actually against Serena Williams. It's so crazy, man.

"I've been dreaming of this moment for the longest time. Like I said after I won the Orange Bowl [at age 15], a couple months after, I really believed that I could be at this stage.

"Since then, honestly I've been visualising it almost every single day.

"For it to become a reality is just so crazy. I guess these visualisations really, really work."

Andreescu conceded she did start to doubt herself as Williams, backed by a deafening crowd desperate for her to tie the record, roared back from 5-1 down to level the second set at 5-5, a fightback she was in no way surprised by.

"I had some doubts because I've witnessed her come back from being 5-0 down, 5-1 down, 5-2 down. I just told myself to stick with my tactics," added Andreescu.

"She started playing much better. I think the crowd really helped her, as well.

"I was blocking out the noise, or trying to. I could barely hear myself think really. It was really, really loud. But I guess that's what makes this tournament so special.

"It definitely wasn't easy, especially when she started coming back in the second set. I mean, it was expected. She's a champion. That's what champions do. She's done that many, many times throughout her career.

"But I just tried to stay as composed as I could. It's hard to just block everything out, but I think I did a pretty good job at that."

Bianca Andreescu claimed the biggest win of her career on Saturday, but the teenager's US Open triumph was just her latest over a top-10 player.

The 19-year-old Canadian beat Serena Williams in straight sets at Arthur Ashe Stadium for her first grand slam title.

Andreescu now holds an 8-0 record over top-10 players in her career, with each of those wins coming in 2019, showcasing her ability to step up against the best.

Omnisport takes a look at the teenager's top-10 wins.

2019 Auckland Open: defeated Caroline Wozniacki (1) 6-4 6-4

A qualifier facing the top seed, Andreescu stunned Wozniacki in Auckland in January. She was ranked 152nd in the world at the time.

2019 Indian Wells Open: defeated Elina Svitolina (6) 6-3 2-6 6-4

Andreescu put together a fine run on her way to a first WTA Tour title at Indian Wells, including saving nine of 10 break points in the final set in a semi-final win over Svitolina.

2019 Indian Wells Open: defeated Angelique Kerber (8) 6-4 3-6 6-4

A wildcard, Andreescu joined Williams (1999), Kim Clijsters (2005) and Naomi Osaka (2018) as the only unseeded champions at Indian Wells.

2019 Miami Open: defeated Angelique Kerber (8) 6-4 4-6 6-1

Less than a week after beating Kerber in the final at Indian Wells, Andreescu repeated the feat in Miami.

2019 Rogers Cup: defeated Kiki Bertens (5) 6-1 6-7 (7-9) 6-4

Andreescu's run in Toronto surely sparked hopes she could contend at Flushing Meadows, beginning with her last-16 victory over Bertens.

2019 Rogers Cup: defeated Karolina Pliskova (3) 6-0 2-6 6-4

Andreescu made it four straight three-set wins by overcoming Pliskova, again delivering in a key moment by breaking decisively in the ninth game of the decider.

2019 Rogers Cup: defeated Serena Williams (8) 3-1 ret.

It may not have been the way she wanted to win a title at home, but Andreescu was ahead in the final when Williams retired due to a back injury.

2019 US Open: defeated Serena Williams 6-3 7-5

She got another chance in New York and delivered an impressive display in front of a raucous crowd supporting the American great. After taking the first set, Andreescu saw Williams come from 5-1 down in the second, only to steady and close out her maiden major success.

Flushing Meadows appeared set to bear witness to a trademark Serena Williams comeback in the US Open final, but the 23-time grand slam champion indicated she will not lift a major trophy again until she shows her true self after falling short against Bianca Andreescu.

Williams again missed out on an opportunity to tie Margaret Court's all-time record as she was beaten 6-3 7-5 by Andreescu at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday.

Andreescu dominated the match for a set and a half, reading the Williams serve excellently, producing deep returns and making the 37-year-old contest long rallies she was frequently on the wrong end of.

However, the tide appeared to be turning in a significant way as Andreescu let a championship point slip at 5-1 and allowed Williams to completely erase the deficit.

With a raucous crowd vociferously on her side, most would have expected her to go on and take the set along with a prospective decider to finally end her wait for number 24.

However, Andreescu stemmed the tide with a hold and then pounced on another poor Williams service game of which there were too many, an unreturnable forehand winner clinching the Canadian's first grand slam title on her maiden main draw appearance at the US Open.

For Williams it is now four major final defeats since returning from giving birth to her daughter, though she was less than a year removed from pregnancy when she lost to Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon in 2018.

The American was severely critical of her own display and believes she has not produced her best in any of those defeats.

Asked what she has been thinking since the final point, Williams told a media conference: "Well, I was thinking, okay, Serena, you didn't miss a serve, you lost serve maybe twice in the whole tournament, and you didn't hit a first serve in today, so... That was obviously on my mind, like how do I play at a level like this in a final?

"Again, I think Bianca obviously played well. I think her returns make me play better and puts pressure on my serve. At the same time it's inexcusable for me to play at that level."

"I feel like in 20 years, I definitely will be like, wow, that wasn't so bad," Williams said of her past four slam final defeats.

"It's very hard right now in the moment to take this and say, it didn't work out for you today, but it's really hard right now to take that moment in and to say you did okay, because I don't believe I did.

"I believe I could have played better. I believe I could have done more. I believe I could have just been more Serena today.

"I honestly don't think Serena showed up. I have to kind of figure out how to get her to show up in grand slam finals."

Bianca Andreescu apologised to the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd after beating Serena Williams in the US Open final to clinch her first grand slam title.

Andreescu, 19, extended Williams' wait for a record-equalling 24th major crown with an impressive 6-3 7-5 victory in New York on Saturday.

But just like Naomi Osaka a year ago, when the Japanese star beat Williams in a controversial final, Andreescu was apologetic to what was a raucous crowd supporting the American great at Flushing Meadows.

Asked about the toughest aspect of her win in an on-court interview, Andreescu said: "Definitely the crowd.

"I know you guys wanted Serena to win, so I'm so sorry. Obviously it was expected for Serena to fight back. She's done that so many times in the past. That's why she's a true champion on and off the court.

"I just tried my best to block everything out. The last game wasn't easy – she started serving way, way better too. Balls were going all over the place. I'm just glad with how I managed really."

Andreescu managed to close out her first major title despite Williams reeling off four consecutive games from 5-1 down in the second set.

The Canadian paid tribute to Williams and was delighted with her own ability to deal with the enormity of the situation.

"It's so hard to explain in words. I'm just beyond grateful and truly blessed. I've worked really, really hard for this moment. I can't complain," Andreescu said.

"This year has been a dream come true. Now, being able to play on this stage, against Serena, a true legend of the sport, is amazing.

"Oh, man. It wasn't easy at all. I tried to prepare my best, like I do for every other match. I tried to step on the court and tried not to focus on who I'm playing. That's really easy to say but I'm really proud of how I dealt with everything."

Serena Williams thanked her team for their support through her "downs and downs and downs" after she lost again in the US Open final.

The 37-year-old was chasing a joint-record 24th grand slam title against Bianca Andreescu at Flushing Meadows but, as against Naomi Osaka last year and in consecutive Wimbledon finals, she came up short.

Williams turned in a nervy showing at Arthur Ashe Stadium, only briefly threatening to rally past her 19-year-old opponent late in the second set of a 6-3 7-5 reverse.

The match came 20 years on from Williams' first US Open victory and, asked about her incredible longevity after another painful defeat, she was hopeful there is still time in her career to return to winning ways in slam finals.

"I just feel really honoured to be out here. I'm just so proud I'm still out here competing at this level," she said at the post-match presentation. "It's not easy to be in this particular sport for 20 years.

"I have to give all thanks to Jehovah God for allowing me to have this moment to even be here.

"My team has been so supportive through all the ups and downs and downs and downs and downs and downs and downs...Hopefully we'll have some ups soon."

Williams has previously described herself as a fan of Andreescu and acknowledged that, with the exception of sister Venus, there is nobody she would rather lose to.

"Bianca played an unbelievable match. Congratulations," she said. "So proud and happy for you.

"It was incredible tennis out there. I wish I could have played better, but if anyone could win this tournament - outside of Venus - I'm happy it's Bianca."

Williams' only flicker of an opening in the match - a 23-minute stretch between Andreescu's first and second championship points - saw the crowd get involved, backing the American star.

She added: "I was just fighting at that point, trying to stay out there a little bit longer.

"Honestly, the fans started cheering so hard, it just made me play a little better and find a little bit more. I was really grateful for that."

Serena Williams was denied a 24th grand slam title in the US Open final for a second consecutive year as 19-year-old Bianca Andreescu capped an extraordinary 2019 with a breakthrough major success in a classic Flushing Meadows final.

The great Williams has been stuck on 23 victories, one behind Margaret Court, since January 2017 and lost in remarkable circumstances to Naomi Osaka in last year's New York final, as well as falling at the final hurdle at Wimbledon in each of the past two seasons.

It had appeared as though the 37-year-old would finally end her wait for the landmark triumph with an outstanding run back at Flushing Meadows until she met giant-slayer Andreescu on Saturday.

The teenager, who was beaten in qualifying last year, has never lost to a top-10 player and continued that incredible record by triumphing 6-3 7-5, becoming the first Canadian to win a singles grand slam.

Williams wore a pained expression throughout a performance that became more and more ragged, gifting away three breaks to double-faults as her experience failed to stand up to a mature Andreescu display.

For 23 minutes at the end of the second set, it appeared there might be a miraculous fightback, though, as the pressure finally got to the previously indomitable Andreescu, who had led 5-1 in the second.

But her calm and composure was rediscovered in the nick of time and the major final debutant, who was not born when Williams won the 1999 title, sealed a stunning triumph, leaving Serena still level with Chris Evert for US Open championships (six) and match wins (101).

As players walk out of the the tunnel and into Arthur Ashe Stadium, they are greeted by a plaque adorned with four famous words uttered by Billie Jean King - "Pressure is a privilege".

Of all the greats to have graced the sport of tennis, no player has embraced that motto more than Serena Williams.

At her most dangerous with her back against the wall, Williams' major-trophy laden career has been defined by the American's ability to thrive when the match situation appears most dire, to ratchet up the intensity and summon her very best when it is most needed.

However, standing between her and a record-tying 24th grand slam title in the US Open final is a teenager who may be her heir apparent in that regard.

Bianca Andreescu only has eight major match wins to her name, six of them coming in this year's event at Flushing Meadows. She was not even born when Williams appeared in her first slam final.

The contrast between the two finalists could not be more stark. Yet, when it comes to on-court intensity, there is a strong argument that Andreescu is already the 37-year-old's equal.

If she continues to produce turnarounds akin to her second-set comeback in the semi-final with Belinda Bencic, the Canadian will soon have a similar reputation for excelling in the moments the vast majority shrink under.

Aptly described as a "warrior and a street fighter" by her coach Sylvain Bruneau on Friday, at the age of 19 Andreescu is a wonderfully entertaining player to watch.

She is blessed with great power and brings tremendous variety to her game, but it is what she does after and in-between points that makes so mesmeric.

Andreescu lives and breathes for every point. In each game she seems to fight with her own internal sense of frustation and it is a surprise when a point she wins is not greeted by a vociferous "Yes! C'mon!" or by her barking at her support team.

Comfort is not a word that naturally comes to mind when watching Andreescu. However, she seems most at ease when in need of a fightback, so being break-point down is viewed more as an opportunity rather than a problem.

Trailing 5-2 in the second against Bencic, having won the first on a tie-break, there was never any thought of her easing off and saving energy for a decider. Andreescu attacked, Bencic got tight and any confidence the Swiss had built up ebbed away as she lost five straight games and handed the match to the main-draw debutant.

"I think when I'm down, I play my best tennis. Whenever my back is against the wall, I think I'm just extra focused in those moments," Andreescu told a news conference.

"I remember I told myself at 5-2 that I didn't want to go in three sets. So I think just that switched my mindset. I was just really, really focused.

"It's [fearlessness] just inside of me somehow. I think it's just my passion for the game, as well. I don't like to lose, so I just try my best every match. I expect a lot from myself, so I think that pressure also helps me do my best in matches."

Andreescu's belief has grown throughout a stunning year. Having failed to qualify for the US Open last year, her 2019 has encompassed a final in Auckland and titles at Indian Wells and the Rogers Cup, where an ailing Williams retired four games into the final.

The desire to win at Flushing Meadows, however, has been there for a long time.

"When I was 16, after I won the Orange Bowl title, I remember I wrote myself a cheque of this tournament, winning the tournament obviously," said Andreescu. "Ever since that moment, I just kept visualising that.

"If that can happen on Saturday, then that would be pretty cool."

She will be able to cash a cheque for $3.85million should she prevail on Saturday. To do so, Andreescu will need to overcome the greatest player of all time, with Williams chasing history in front of her home crowd at the world's biggest tennis stadium.

A monumental challenge, but one Andreescu will unquestionably show no fear in facing.

Serena Williams will play her 10th US Open final on Saturday - 20 years on from her first.

The 37-year-old is set to step out at Arthur Ashe Stadium in pursuit of her 24th grand slam title and yet more history.

Williams is now established as one of the greatest athletes of all time, but how did she and the women's tennis world look in September 1999?

We take a step back in time.


SERENA'S EARLY STRIDES

Williams entered the 1999 US Open as a 17-year-old, but she had already played four WTA Tour finals and was the seventh seed.

Victory over Steffi Graf in the Indian Wells title match had shown just what she could do on the big stage, and she had a whole host of victories over top-10 players to her name by the time she arrived at Flushing Meadows for what was her seventh major.

Williams defeated world number one Martina Hingis three times in 1999, with the third and final victory securing her landmark title in New York.

An incredible run had seen her already beat Conchita Martinez, Monica Seles and defending champion Lindsay Davenport.


THE WILLIAMS DYNASTY

The Williams name was well known on the tour by the time Serena started to really make waves, as sister Venus, two years her senior, had reached the US Open final in the 1997 season.

That was a first tour-level final of any sort for Venus and she was thrashed by Hingis. But Venus won the Miami Open in consecutive years - beating Serena in the 1999 final - and triumphed at the Internazionali d'Italia before heading to the US Open.

Venus was made to wait until Wimbledon in 2000 to taste grand slam victory, however, losing to Hingis in the 1999 Flushing Meadows semis as Serena celebrated a first triumph.

Yet the dominant Williams doubles team had already been established, with victory at the French Open and another in New York.


SEIZING THE POWER

Just as is common in 2019, the major titles were evenly distributed on the WTA Tour in 1999. Hingis won in Melbourne, Graf triumphed at the French Open and then Davenport came out on top at Wimbledon.

Davenport had been the title holder at the US Open, too, until Serena triumphed.

But the arrival of the Williams sisters signalled the end of dominant times for Hingis, Graf and Davenport. The latter claimed her final grand slam title at the 2000 Australian Open, but Hingis did not win a singles major again after Serena's breakthrough. Graf retired just weeks before the 1999 US Open.

Hingis still topped the rankings at the end of 1999, but Venus was third and Serena fourth. And this was still months before Bianca Andreescu, Saturday's opponent for Serena in New York, was even born.

Belinda Bencic does not believe she is far away from becoming a grand slam champion despite seeing her 2019 hopes ended in a US Open semi-final defeat to Bianca Andreescu on Thursday.

Bencic, who will return to the world's top 10 next week, enjoyed the best major of her career as she reached the last four at Flushing Meadows, having previously only gone as far as the quarter-finals in New York back in 2014.

Despite coming unstuck against outstanding teenager Andreescu, having led 5-2 in the second set, the Swiss feels as though she is making good progress.

Rather than identify the need for any grand changes to her game to improve further, Bencic suggests "small details", experience and luck will contribute to future success.

"I think it's small details that matter," she told a news conference. "I think it's not about your forehand or your backhand.

"I think it's overall just trying to improve even the one per cent more of fitness, of mental [strength], of serve. I think just, overall, everything – maybe even the game when you don't play so well, to put the level a little bit up.

"Yeah, I'll just keep doing what I do. I think I just need to create more opportunities like this, playing semi-finals, semi-finals, quarter-finals.

"Eventually, you have to give luck a chance. That's my motto."

Given her previous difficulties at grand slams, Bencic was able to look upon the US Open as a positive experience even with the 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 loss – particularly having retired with a foot injury in her previous tournament at the Western & Southern Open.

"Definitely positively, for sure," she said when asked how she would reflect on the past two weeks. "We reached more than I expected here. After Cincinnati, coming into this tournament, yeah, I think it's my best result, semi-finals.

"Really, I'm taking it step by step. I'm just really happy and positive about it."

Things are getting serious at the US Open.

The women's semi-finals took place on day 11, with the focus firmly on Serena Williams' pursuit of history.

Williams is now a win away from tying Margaret Court's record for grand slam singles titles with her 24th major, the modern-day queen of the court wowing royalty in the stands with a dominant performance against Elina Svitolina.

Omnisport's man on the ground, Nicholas McGee, provides the details in our daily diary from New York.

 

A ROYAL OCCASION ON ASHE

Wimbledon is often graced by the presence of the British royal family, and there was one queen in attendance at Arthur Ashe Stadium to watch Williams rule over the court yet again.

Queen Latifah was a particularly interested spectator during Williams' rout of Svitolina, while Hollywood royalty also looked on.

Oscar-winning filmmaker Spike Lee was in attendance and received a huge cheer from the crowd when the Brooklyn-raised star was shown on the big screen.

BARTY & AZARENKA RACE THROUGH

Ashleigh Barty and Victoria Azarenka have six grand slam titles between them across singles and doubles, but that number could be about to increase.

The experienced pairing reached the women's doubles final by hammering Viktoria Kuzmova and Aliaksandra Sasnovich at Louis Armstrong Stadium. 

Barty and Azarenka lost just one game in the match, which they needed only 56 minutes wrap up in a display that should serve as an ominous sign for Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka and Caroline Dolehide and Vania King, who will meet in the second semi-final.

 

OSAKA GETS WOMEN'S SPORTSMANSHIP GONG

After Diego Schwartzman was presented with the men's sportsmanship award on Wednesday, the US Open confirmed the women's prize had gone to dethroned champion Naomi Osaka.

There could be no more deserving winner, with Osaka's actions following her win over 15-year-old Coco Gauff in the third round winning her plaudits around the world.

OMNISPORT REPORTER ENJOYS SOME PARK LIFE

The lighter schedule that comes with the latter part of the tournament presents the opportunity for some down time.

Our man in New York made the journey from Queens to Manhattan to explore the Big Apple.

Stomping the sidewalks can be tiring, but thankfully New York has plenty of places to take the weight off your feet, with Union Square Park one such laid-back spot.

Statues of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln feature prominently in the park and, though her achievements are of a very different nature, there is a strong chance Williams could join them in being bronzed once she finally hangs up the racquet.

Bianca Andreescu could not have imagined being in the US Open final this time last year but is in no doubt she is worthy of her place across the net from Serena Williams on Saturday.

Making her first appearance in the main draw at Flushing Meadows, the 19-year-old Canadian progressed to the final with a hard-fought 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 win over Belinda Bencic in Thursday's semi-final.

It is a scenario that would have been hard to envision 12 months ago when Andreescu lost in the first round of qualifying in New York.

However, Andreescu came through the preliminaries to reach the final in Auckland at the start of 2019, beating Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams along the way, and made a huge breakthrough at Indian Wells in March with victory over Angelique Kerber in the final.

Andreescu pinpointed those tournaments as the events that gave her the belief she could contend for major titles, but still conceded to struggling to comprehend what she has achieved this year.

Speaking at a media conference, Andreescu was asked what she would have said a year ago if someone told her she would be facing Williams on this stage.

She replied: "I don't think I would have believed them. I was ranked, like, outside of the 150, I think. It's just crazy what a year can do.

"If someone would have said that a couple weeks ago, I think I would have believed them.

"I've always dreamt of this moment ever since I was a little kid. But I don't think many people would have actually thought that it would become a reality.

"It all started in Auckland, then in Indian Wells. I just kept believing in myself."

Andreescu put her hands on her head after clinching victory over Bencic and added: "I think that moment after the match, I was just in shock.

"At the same time, I fought really hard to get to this point, so I really think I deserve to be in the finals on Saturday."

The teenager played four games with Williams in the Rogers Cup final last month before the American retired from the match.

She said of the prospect of facing the 23-time grand slam singles champion: "I remember always telling my team I would have always wanted to play her right before she retires.

"I'm really looking forward to it. She's an amazing champion on and off the court. It's going to be fun.

"She's fighting for her 24th on Saturday. I'm sure she's going to bring her A game. I'm going to try to bring my A game, too."

Andreescu dealt with a hostile crowd in her fourth-round match with American Taylor Townsend and appreciates she will have even less support against Williams, who is looking to tie Margaret Court's grand slam singles record.

"I don't know how that's going to go. But hopefully I can have some Canadians cheering me on," said Andreescu. "I remember I heard some during Taylor's match. For sure, the crowd's going to be for Serena. I just have to deal with that."

Serena Williams will have another chance to win her 24th grand slam and tie Margaret Court's record for major titles, but moved to dismiss suggestions it is her sole reason for remaining on the WTA Tour.

Williams crushed Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-1 to reach her 33rd grand slam final, and will hope it is a case of fourth time lucky against Bianca Andreescu after losing on her past three appearances in major showpieces.

The American lost to Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon in 2018 before succumbing to Naomi Osaka in a controversial final at Flushing Meadows last year.

She was comprehensively beaten by Simona Halep at the All England Club but will be the heavy favourite on Saturday when she takes on teenager Andreescu.

Williams is the subject of widespread admiration for her ability to maintain her level at 37 following the traumatic birth of her daughter.

However, the question has been raised as to whether she would still be in the sport if she had 25 grand slams to her name.

Yet when that query was put to her at a post-match media conference, Williams was emphatic, saying: "I definitely would still be playing if I had already passed it [Court's record].

"I've had so many chances to pass it and to have a lot more, but it's cool because I'm playing in an era with so many – five eras with so many amazing players.

"If you look at the span of the career, the players I've played, it's amazing that I was able to get this many."

Williams reached her first major final at 17, beating Martina Hingis in straight sets at the 1999 US Open.

Asked what her teenage self's response would be if told she would still be playing 20 years later, Williams replied: "I would definitely not have believed them.

"At 17 I thought for sure I'd be retired at 28, 29, living my life. So, yeah, I would have thought it was a sick joke."

Court and Kim Clijsters each won slams after giving birth, but Williams made it clear replicating that achievement is not her priority.

"I think it's amazing to come back with a baby and win because it's hard", said Williams. "My day off isn't a day off. I'm literally hanging out with baby, I'm doing activities with her. I don't want her to forget me. I try to spend as much time with her.

"I'm a full-time mum first, foremost. That means the most to me. I train, and then I rush home. The other day I found a trampoline park I wanted to take her to. At the end of the day, that's what matters to me, is just being there for my daughter.

"Being in a grand slam is difficult because it takes away a lot of time that we normally have together. At her age, she's starting to really learn things. Her brain is processing things more. I want to be a part of that. I don't want anything else to take that away.

"For me that's what definitely matters most."

Bianca Andreescu will play in her first grand slam final against Serena Williams at the US Open after coming through a fascinating battle with Belinda Bencic in straight sets.

Andreescu and Bencic were given an all too unnecessary reminder of what they would face in a potential final with Williams, who dismantled Elina Svitolina in the earlier semi-final at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Their duel proved a more prolonged and engrossing one as two players with hugely impressive variety to their games proved extremely well matched.

However, Andreescu's superior power proved the difference in a tight and tense affair, the 19-year-old Canadian coming back from 5-2 down in the second set to claim a 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 win that ensures a grand slam run few people expected will end with her holding a trophy of some kind.

Elina Svitolina has a lot to be proud of as she reflects on her grand slam season, having reached successive semi-finals at Wimbledon and the US Open.

But what may run through her mind on Saturday when she takes the long flight to China for the Zhengzhou Women's Tennis Open are the opportunities she missed to stamp her authority on a semi-final with Serena Williams that got away from her in a hurry.

The Ukrainian had the right approach in the opening game at Arthur Ashe Stadium, going on the attack early and immediately bringing up three break points, only to let all of them slip.

She committed the same offence in the fifth game with a chance to break back after Williams had surged 3-1 ahead, and from then on the contest became a lesson in making the most of opportunities that the American dished out with relish.

Williams needed just an hour and 10 minutes to wrap up a 6-3 6-1 victory, with Svitolina left to rue her inability to take those chances before the 23-time grand slam champion ensured no further openings were forthcoming.

"It was quite a good start for me, I would say. And first two games I had the chances to break and then to hold," Svitolina told a media conference. "[I] had the chances, but in the same time she played really, really focused and very precise on those two games. After she served in the third game unbelievable.

"I think [those] games gave her not confidence, obviously she's a really experienced player, but it gave her this push to play more freely."

Asked to analyse the break points, she said: "I think on half of them she played really great. She served really good and then went for a second-shot winner.

"Then I had maybe one or two points where I could step, I could make a difference, but I didn't. I made a few unforced errors.

"But, again, that's why she is who she is. You are playing in front of the best tennis player in the world. If you don't take it, she just grabs it and there's no chance to take it back.

"The last two slams have been good for me. I'm very happy with the way I could handle the tough moments. Unfortunately both times it's finished really one-sided, which I have to analyse, I have to sit down with my coach, I have to work a lot mentally on how I have to handle those kind of matches.

"That's where you have to really step up your game."

Svitolina revealed she was battling a knee problem during the match, adding: "I have a flight on Saturday to go to Zhengzhou. I'm going to play my match on Tuesday or Wednesday. I have no time for preparation.

"I'm going to recover and see how it goes because I've been having some issues with my knee. I will see how it goes, my health. I'm now going to play few tournaments in China. They're very important, of course. I'm trying to get back in Shenzhen [for the WTA Finals]."

Serena Williams is a win away from equalling the all-time record for grand slam titles after a routine straight-sets victory over Elina Svitolina in the US Open semi-finals.

Williams needed just 44 minutes to complete a route of Wang Qiang in the quarter-finals and this contest against a more accomplished opponent lasted just 26 minutes longer.

Svitolina paid the price for missing six break points in the first set and faded rapidly in the second in the face of a performance filled with the confidence of a player poised to join Margaret Court on 24 grand slam titles.

The 6-3 6-1 victory secured her place in a 33rd grand slam final, as she tied Chris Evert for the most US Open match wins with her 101st triumph at Flushing Meadows.

Bianca Andreescu or Belinda Bencic will stand between Williams and another piece of history in a career that will surely go down as the greatest in the history of tennis.

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