The way Serena Williams is playing, there may not be a woman on the planet who can keep her from winning her fourth career U.S. Open women's singles title.
Williams, the tournament's fourth seed, made ridiculously quick work of No. 10 Sara Errani in Friday's semifinal, needing just 64 minutes to polish off a 6-1, 6-2 rout and advance to the championship match. Williams will face top-ranked Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who needed three sets to defeat Maria Sharapova.
Williams had all the momentum heading into the match after breezing her way through her first five matches without dropping a set. She had been saving her best work for late in the event, coming in having dropped just four games combined in wins over Andrea Hlavackova and former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic. Errani, listed at 5-foot-4, truly was facing a David vs. Goliath situation - and Goliath prevailed with startling ease.
As she likes to do, Williams set the tone early. She blasted three aces and 18 winners while feasting on an Errani serve that simply didn't have enough pace. Errani won fewer than half her first-serve points and was broken twice in an opening set that took just 30 minutes.
Williams ratcheted things up in the second set, blasting six aces and winning all 14 of her first-serve points. An overwhelmed Errani barely mustered an answer, with the Italian earning just three points in 19 return opportunities. Williams racked up 20 winners in the set - giving her 38 for the match - and fittingly ended the rout with a second-serve ace.
Errani was left predictably shell-shocked, but did offer a suggestion if Williams is looking for tougher competition:
"Given that men are always quick to say women are a lot worse ... I'd love to see her play in a (lower-level) men's tournament and see how they deal with her. It's easy to talk. On the court, it would be different."
For now, Williams will have to settle for her own goals - and there are a couple of significant ones. A victory would make her the first 30-year-old to win the final Grand Slam event of the season since legend Martina Navratilova did so in 1987. It would also make her to become the first woman to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in the same year since the last turned the trick in 2002.
Given that she enters the final with a 9-1 edge in head-to-head meetings with Azarenka, Williams' first Wimbledon-U.S. Open double in a decade looks like a good bet.