Serena Williams serves to Petra Martic of Croatia on day seven of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King court in New York, the US, September 1 2019. Picture: EMILEE CHIN/AFP
Serena Williams serves to Petra Martic of Croatia on day seven of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King court in New York, the US, September 1 2019. Picture: EMILEE CHIN/AFP

New York —Serena Williams, seeking her 24th career Grand Slam title to match Margaret Court's all-time record, routed Croatia's Petra Martic 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday to reach the US Open quarter-finals.

The American, a six-time US Open champion, will play for a semifinal berth on Tuesday against China's 18th-seeded Wang Qiang, who upset French Open champion Ashleigh Barty, the second seed from Australia.

Williams had an injury scare in the second set of the 92-minute triumph when her right ankle went out from under her as she ran to the net and stopped to hit a volley. She called for a medical timeout at the next break and had the ankle heavily taped.

"I just rolled it. I dont know why," Williams said. "I was volleying and it just went over. That was frustrating so I wanted to get it compressed really fast."

Eighth-seeded Williams, who has battled knee and back injuries this season, felt a mental setback when it happened but battled through to win.

"I've had a rough year with injuries," Williams said. "It was like, 'Oh my God. Not again. I'm finally walking.'"

Williams, who won her first Grand Slam title 20 years ago at the US Open, advanced to the last-eight at Flushing Meadows for the 16th time.

"Am I that old? That's the first thing I think about," Williams told the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium. "But I'm doing it for all of us."

Williams won two years to the day after giving birth to her daughter Olympia.

"She was in my arms by now," Williams said. "It was literally amazing and it was like the best day of my life."

Williams has reached three Grand Slam finals as a mother, including the 2018 US Open and Wimbledon in July, but has yet to win a Slam title as a working mother.

"When I go to bed at 9 o'clock now I'm exhausted," she said, adding. "This is for all you working parents out there."

AFP