Top seed Serena Williams made a work of her semi-final clash with Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova to set up a US Open final showdown with Caroline Wozniacki.
The World number one dazzled in absolutely electric form in the late Friday afternoon session, finishing off 6-1 6-3 within an hour.
The win means the 32-year-old become the first player to qualify for the eight-player WTA Finals in Singapore in October. She is also a win away from her sixth US Open title, which would tie her with compatriot Chris Evert for most titles in the Open Era.
“I’m just really excited to be in the final now,” Williams told reporters. “In the beginning of the week I definitely wasn’t sure that I would make it this long. Definitely wasn’t sure I’d still be here.
“I think I played pretty well today though. I was able to change up my game and keep moving forward and just keep doing what I could do today. I’m just elated, to be honest, to have made it this far.”
The American, who had only lost 3 of her 21 semi-final matches in a major prior to last night, prevailed against Makarova, who had beaten her at the Australian Open two years ago.
However, the five-time champion meant business on Friday, and from 1-all in the first set she went on a cruise, reeling off nine games on the trot to build a 6-1 4-0 lead.
The only hiccup in Williams’ build-up to her first Grand Slam final this year came towards the end of the second set, when the 17th seed broke back to claim two games and close in at just a meager differentials.
But Williams broke one last time to close out the contest, when Makarova sent a forehand wide down the line on match point.
Williams ended the contest with 24 winners in 59 minutes and with just 15 unforced errors.
Up next, is a final clash with 10th seed Caroline Wozniacki, who earlier on Friday reached the next round when her last 4 opponent Peng Shuai had to retire trailing 7-6(1) 4-3.
Williams leads Wozniacki in their head-to-head, 8-1, but their last two meetings, which took place in the summer hardcourt lead-up, both went to three tough sets.
“I definitely expect another close match,” Williams said on the showdown with Wozniacki. “She really knows my game well and knows how to play. She’s so consistent. I think that’s one of the things that makes her really tough. So I just have to be ready for that and just stay calm and just be able to relax and be happy, really.”