Welcome to the Evening Standard’s LIVE coverage of the 2019 US Open.

We’ve reached the semi-final stages of the women’s singles, and Serena Williams will be on court in the early hours of Friday morning to face Elina Svitolina – who eliminated Johanna Konta in the previous round. Following that, Belinda Bencic plays Bianca Vanessa Andreescu for a place in Saturday’s final.

So far today British duo Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski have been defeated in the semi-finals of the Men’s Doubles with Colombian pair Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah through to Friday’s final where there will face Horacio Zeballos and Marcel Granollers.

Stay tuned to Standard Sport for the pick of the action from Flushing Meadows…

Live Updates



Serena speaks on court…

 

“Yeah they were long games and I know how she can play. She’s obviously a really good player and two semis in a row is a really hard to do, really impressive. So I just wanted to not get off to a slow start and try to hang in there.”

GAME, SET, MATCH


Simply sublime!

 

A thoroughly dominant display from Serena Williams as she beats Svitolina 6-3, 6-1 to reach her 10th US Open final.

 

Grand Slam number 24 surely awaits.


 Svitolina 3-6 1-5 Williams

 

My oh my. Svitolina keeps in the rally, hoping for a mistake. But it never comes.

 

Instead, Williams just hammers one down the line and you just know it’s going to catch the line. Fabulous.

 

She’s returning for a spot in the final.

BREAK OF SERVE


BREAK! Svitolina 3-6 1-4 Williams

 

Show this to the kids in the academies. This is how you dominate points, Serena 101. 

 

She plays a cute dropshot from the baseline with Svitolina so far back and dinks a super volley over the net.

 

A triple break point for her and a frustrated Svitolina lashes her forehand well wide.


Svitolina 3-6 1-3 Williams

 

A confident love hold from the American and she’s really feeling it out on court.

 

She’s disappearing off into the distance and we all know how quick Svitolina is. But this match already looks beyond her.

BREAK OF SERVE


BREAK! Svitolina 3-6 1-2 Williams

 

Wow. Some brilliant defending from Williams to keep Svitolina playing the shots and the fifth seed makes a rare blunder.

 

She’s in trouble now facing a break point but gets a reprieve when Williams angles her forehand just wide.

 

The danger isn’t gone, though. Svitolina knocks one into the net and faces another break point. This time she goes way too long with the forehand and this match is slipping away from her now.


Svitolina 3-6 1-1 Williams

 

The Ukrainian is desperate to grab a break early on but Williams just does enough to see her off.

 

As long as her first serves are still this powerful and accurate, it’s going to be difficult for Svitolina to haul herself back in this.


Svitolina 3-6 1-0 Williams

 

Many players would roll over after losing the first set to Williams, but not Svitolina.

 

Two aces and two unreturned serves as she strolls to a love hold. That’s more like it!


SET!

 

Svitolina 3-6 Williams

 

With two sets points, Williams launches a huge serve into Svitolina’s body and she can’t lift it over the net. The crowd erupts.

 

A champion’s performance from Williams so far. She’s a set away from the final.

 


Svitolina 3-5 Williams

 

Another hold for Svitolina after successive unforced errors from Williams. It may just be delaying the inevitable here though…


Svitolina 2-5 Williams

 

Svitolina is finding rhythm on her serve now and not giving as much ground to Williams.

 

But that matters little when you’re playing catch-up to a rampant 23-time Major winner. A love hold for Serena and she’s powering her way to the first set here.


Svitolina 1-4 Williams

 

Svitolina finally gets on the board after her nearly moments in the early stages.

 

Once again, Williams comes back from a double break point to hold with a serve and volley included. That’s been such an effective tactic in this tournament.


Svitolina 0-3 Williams

 

Supreme stuff from Williams. Two big serves and a fierce forehand into the corner. 

 

She wraps up the love hold after Svitolina’s forehand goes long. It’s just not gone right for her so far.

BREAK OF SERVE


BREAK! Svitolina 0-2 Williams

 

Svitolina starts the service off well with some fine tactics and solid hitting. 

 

But Williams finds her power and timing to win the next four points. Now she has a break point, but fails to convert with a stray backhand.

 

Neither player is able to capitalise and the game drags past the 10-minute mark before finally, Williams powers a backhand down the line to secure a break.

 

Svitolina will be cursing herself, having had two break points in the first and numerous chances to hold.


Svitolina 0-1 Williams

 

What a start for Svitolina. She keeps Serena in the rallies and waits for the American to slip up.

 

The Ukrainian is handed three break points but lets herself down with some sloppy groundstrokes that normally she’d put away. That gives Williams a bit of a boost and she has game point.

 

But now it’s her turn to sink one into the net. Finally, after a long six-minute battle, Svitolina knocks one wide. Williams survives.


Serena Williams to serve first…


The players are warming up on court and we’re nearly ready to get underway on Ashe.

 

There’s a buzz in the air at the stadium and people have flocked in to see these two heavyweights go head-to-head.


And what about Elina Svitolina?

 

She’s still only 24 years of age, which is astonishing given her stature in the game, and now she’s finding her best form working with coach Andrew Bettles.

 

The Ukrainian reached the semi-final at Wimbledon before losing out to eventual winner Simona Halep. That followed a quarter-final appearance in Melbourne and an early exit at Roland Garros.

 

Some might say she’s found her calling with a defensive, never-say-die strategy. Sure, she’s not the strongest hitter but she will force Williams to play some long points tonight.

 

If she can disrupt the American, she may well find herself in her first Grand Slam final.


Here she is. Again.

 

You wonder if Serena Williams just gets bored with being so good at tennis. But then you look back to all the great winners in sport: Michael Schumacher, Usain Bolt, Lionel Messi. They love winning – and so does Serena.

 

The fact of the matter is that she hasn’t won a Grand Slam since the Australian Open in 2017. But with all facts, there’s context. Williams was pregnant when she *won* the title. If that isn’t one of the most incredible sporting achievements, then what is?

 

She’s had a few not-so-good moments since then – notably the US Open last year after her outburst following her defeat to Naomi Osaka. But she looks a different character now, back to her dominant best and striking fear into her opponents.

 

The 37-year-old is so close to a 24th Grand Slam title, which would put her level with Margaret Court’s trophy haul. If she is going to end what she might regard as a drought, it would be fitting for her to win it on home soil.

ES COVERAGE


That concludes our coverage of the men’s doubles, but we’ll be back at midnight – just over an hour’s time – to bring you the first of two women’s singles semi-finals as Serena Williams takes on Elina Svitolina before Belinda Bencic faces Bianca Andreescu.

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Order of Play Thursday 5th September

Louis Armstrong Stadium

6.30pm: (8) Marcel Granollers (Spa) & Horacio Zeballos (Arg) v (12) Kevin Krawietz (Ger) & Andreas Mies (Ger), (1) Juan Sebastian Cabal (Col) & Robert Farah (Col) v (15) Jamie Murray (Gbr) & Kenneth Skupski (Gbr), (8) Victoria Azarenka (Blr) & Ashleigh Barty (Aus) v Viktoria Kuzmova (Svk) & Aliaksandra Sasnovich (Blr)

Arthur Ashe Stadium

12am (Friday): (5) Elina Svitolina (Ukr) v (8) Serena Williams (USA), (13) Belinda Bencic (Swi) v (15) Bianca Vanessa Andreescu (Can)

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