Despite losing in her doubles match and having dropping the first three games in the US Open quarterfinals, Serena Williams managed to regroup and defeated 11th-seeded Falvia Pennetta 6-3, 6-2.
For Williams, the quest for her 18th major continues as she prepares to face 17th-seeded Ekaterina Makarova on Friday evening (following the completion of the Caroline Wozniacki/Pen Shuai semifinal). The win against Pennetta also kept alive Williams’ impressive 19 match winning streak at Flushing Meadows.
The 2014 seasons has been a strenuous one for Williams as she had previously failed to reach a single major semifinal yet this season. Since 2006, Williams has reached at least one Grand Slam final each season – a streak that remains on the line during tonight’s match. The importance of Williams’ success is paramount for the sport of tennis in the United States. With many American’s failing to even realize the great US Open is being played right now (myself included until I watched Roger Federer last night), Williams’ inclusion into the finals would go a long way into gaining visibility in the sport among US viewers.
Gone are the days of Andy Roddick, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras giving Americans a home-grown reason to watch major tennis events. With the US lacking a true American men’s star, the lone focus for the US resides on Williams and her play. It is not a coincidence that the declined interest in the sport stateside has paralleled the struggles of Williams’ play on the season.
For the first time in 2014, all eyes will be on Williams this evening to see if she can keep her streak alive and make an appearance in the 2014 US Open finals. She survived a frightening ordeal in the quarterfinals, and history is on her side during the semifinals.
Cover Photo: Alex Goodlett/Getty Images
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