US Open fans in disbelief at Serena Williams' latest feat

Serena Williams has left US Open viewers scrambling for superlatives after pulling off an incredible feat in her round of 16 victory on Monday.

The six-time champion used a blazing start and battling finish to reach the US Open quarter-finals with a 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 victory over Kaia Kanepi.

Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam champion seeking a first major since a 2017 Australian Open title won when she was pregnant with her daughter Olympia, will take on Karolina Pliskova for a semi-final spot after the eighth-seeded Czech beat Australian Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-4.

However, it was Williams’ lightning fast start that sent fans into a spin on social media – the American seizing the first set from Kanepi in just 18 minutes.

But the hard-hitting Estonian, who took out world number one Simona Halep in the first round, settled down in the second, boosted by an opening break as she took a 2-0 lead.

After a Williams double fault gave Kanepi a break for a 5-2 Williams answered by winning the next two games.

But she couldn’t convert two break chances in the 10th, and after Williams saved two set points Kanepi knotted the match with a service winner on her third set point.

Williams took the first set against Kanepi in just 18 minutes.

The determination to come home strongly was evident from Williams, who let out a roar after ripping a backhand cross court to hold serve in the opening game of the deciding set.

“It wasn’t an easy match at all,” Williams said.

“She’s had a lot of big wins in her career. I was just happy to get through it to be honest.”

Williams took control of the final set with a break for a 2-0 lead, her 18 aces and 47 total winners proving enough in the end to put her through.

Williams heads into the second week at Flushing Meadows tracking two milestones: A seventh US Open title would see her break out of a tie with Chris Evert for the Open Era record and also equal Australian Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 major titles.

She can also avoid her first year since 2011 without a Grand Slam title. She missed her Australian Open title defense, not returning to the tour until March.

Williams withdrew prior to a fourth-round meeting with Maria Sharapova at the French Open with a shoulder injury before a scintillating run to the Wimbledon final ended with a runner-up finish to Angelique Kerber.

With AFP