Serena Williams beats Elina Svitolina in US Open women's semi-final – as it happened

First set: Williams 2-0 Svitolina* (* denotes server)

Shakespeare has written plays shorter than this description of an epic second game.

Svitolina races through the first three points. Williams wins the next, and Svitolina double-faults to make it 40-30. A strong Williams return brings it to deuce, then another strong return leaves Svitolina staring as the ball whips past her for a Williams break point.

Back to deuce. Svitolina misses her first serve and angrily swats the ball into the net. Williams wins the long rally off the second serve with an impossible angle. Another break point.

But Williams’ next return finds the net. Svitolina comes within an inch of an ace on the next serve, barely copes with Williams’ next return, chases all over the court as Williams comes to the net, then whacks the ball off Williams’ racket and out. If she meant to do that, that was awesome. Advantage Svitolina.

The Ukrainian just can’t close out a game. Her first serve goes miles wide. Williams blasts the second one for a winner. Deuce.

Serve, return, winner for Svitolina, and again she has game point. And this time she double-faults.

Williams returns long. Advantage Svitolina. Williams rips one deep into the corner. Deuce.

Finally, Williams hits a fierce backhand winner, then another. Break.

Svitolina had three chances to win the first game and four chances to win this one. She’s down 0-2.

From the inbox, a while ago, Elisabeth Stewart takes issue with the pre-match comments: “Wow. Your little Serena-bashing silliness is kinda uncalled for. But oooo, the blonde Svitolina– nothing but drooling!”

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Just checked back and didn’t notice any saliva, but thanks for the concern.



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