In the locker room before her match to get into the U.S. Open semifinals, Serena Williams cried. Her friend, Andy Roddick, had lost to Juan Martin del Potro, signaling the end to Roddick’s outstanding tennis career.
Williams showed amazing recuperative powers, gathering her emotions and then going out and disposing of Ana Ivanovic in just 58 minutes at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Williams insisted steadying her emotions was a chore, despite how she played.
“It wasn’t easy, to be honest,” Williams said. “I love Andy so much, he is such a good friend. I’ve known him since I was eight years old.”
How ready to play did Williams seem? She blasted three aces in the first game en route to her easy win. As is the case when she is on her game, Williams’ serve was dominant.
She had 12 aces and 25 of her 46 serves were not returned. In the second game of the second set, Ivanovic got her racket on Williams’ serve only once. Ivanovic had two break points in the seventh game of the first set, but Williams closed it with an ace.
And so, Williams will play Sara Errani of Italy in the semifinals. Errani made it to the semis in an emotional way, too, having to beat her best friend and doubles partner, Roberta Vinci, 6-2, 6-4.
After switching to a longer, heavier racket this season, Errani has earned four of her six career tournament wins and risen to No. 10 in the world. She lost the French Open final to Maria Sharapova. Errani also will rise to No. 1 in the doubles rankings and Vinci will be No. 2.
“Quarterfinal with your best friend, of course, is difficult,” Errani said. “We know each other very well. We played together many times. So was also strange to see her on the other side of the net.”
Errani has faced Williams three times – and lost three times. But they have not met since 2009.
“She’s such a fighter,” Williams said. “She’s strong and quick.”