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Record-chasing Serena powers into 10th US Open final

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Serena Williams is back in the final at Flushing Meadows after last year’s controversial showdown with Naomi Osaka

Serena Williams cruised into a 10th US Open final Thursday as she brushed aside fifth seed Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-1 to claim a record-equaling 101st win at Flushing Meadows.

Williams is seeking a 24th Grand Slam singles title to match Margaret Court’s all-time record and will face either Belinda Bencic or Bianca Andreescu on Saturday in her bid for a record seventh US Open triumph.

The 37-year-old American, who made her US Open debut in 1998, drew level with Chris Evert for the most wins in tournament history after advancing to a 33rd major final.

“To be in yet another final, it seems honestly crazy. But I don’t really expect too much less,” said Williams, who has lost three Grand Slam finals since winning the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant.

“I’ve had so many chances to pass it (Court’s record) and to have a lot more, but it’s cool because I’m playing in an era with so many — five eras with so many amazing players.”

Williams fought off six break points across her opening three service games before finding her rhythm to dispatch Wimbledon semi-finalist Svitolina in 70 minutes, hitting 34 winners against just 20 unforced errors.

“I know how (Svitolina) can play, she’s such a good player,” Williams said. “Obviously two semis in a row is really hard to do and I just wanted to not get off to a slow start and I wanted to hang on in there.”

Williams, who was beaten by Simona Halep in the Wimbledon final in July, returns to the championship match in New York a year on from her infamous meltdown in a loss to Naomi Osaka overshadowed by controversy.

She hasn’t won the US Open since 2014.

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