*Unlike her previous three matches, Serena Williams took just over an hour to beat Sara Errani in the quarterfinals of the French Open on Wednesday in straight sets 6-1, 6-3 to advance to the women’s singles semifinals.
The 19-time Grand Slam champion got off to slow starts and lost the opening set in her last three matches, but that certainly wasn’t the case today.
“It was very important for me to take a very good start,” said Williams, speaking in French during her on-court interview. “The last four French Opens in a row she’s been to the quarterfinals or better, so I knew I had to play very well today.”
Williams broke for a 2-0 lead but dropped her serve in the next game. She saved a break point in the fifth game with a crosscourt backhand punctuated with a big “Come On!” and held after hitting a 121 mph (195 kph) ace.
Errani played deeper in the second set but was broken two more times. Williams had 10 aces and converted 5 of 8 break points. Although it took her four match points, Williams finally dispatched Errani with a cross-court winner.
Next up for the top-ranked player is Timea Bacsinszky.
Serena is going for her third French Open title to complete a third career grand slam.