NEW YORK (AFP) – Serena Williams broke through another barrier on Monday, her 308th Grand Slam match win taking her past Roger Federer for the most in major tournaments and into the quarter-finals of the US Open.
“Wow, it s really exciting,” Williams said of moving out of a tie with Swiss great Federer for most Grand Slam match wins.
“This is where it all started so it s always so magical out here for me — 308 sounds pretty good.”
Williams was never seriously challenged in a 6-2, 6-3 victory over 52nd-ranked Yaroslava Shvedova as she extended her career record over the Kazakh to 5-0.
In fact, despite the injury fears sparked by the sore shoulder that hampered her at the Rio Olympics she has barely been challenged since arriving at Flushing Meadows, where she claimed the first of her six US Open titles in 1999.
She has reached the business end of the tournament without dropping a set or indeed even dropping her serve. She has faced just one break point in four matches.
A seventh US Open title would take her past the record she shares with Chris Evert, and would also break the Open Era record she shares with Steffi Graf of 22 Grand Slam crowns.
She ll face Simona Halep for a semi-final berth after the fifth-seeded Romanian dispatched Spain s Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 7-5.
Halep, beaten in seven of eight prior encounters with Williams, was already bracing for the challenge.
“She s like the best player in the world. I don t have to be afraid or to have emotions because I have nothing to lose,” Halep said. “It s just a huge challenge for me.”
Halep will go into the contest against Williams buoyed by a victory over Suarez Navarro, with whom she d split 10 prior meetings 5-5.