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Serena Williams is in the midst of one of the most dominant stretches in women's tennis history. Many people thought her days were numbered after her shocking first-round exit at the French Open to Virginie Razzano, but Williams has gone the other way instead, losing just one match in the last five calendar months.
Williams did not play any warm-up tournaments before Wimbledon but hit the ground running in London. Leading up to the quarterfinals, she survived three-set encounters with Jie Zheng and Yaroslava Shvedova before knocking out defending champion Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals and world No. 2 Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals.
She was pushed to a third set in the Wimbledon final against Agnieszka Radwanska but reeled off five consecutive games in the final set—punctuated by a four-ace game down 1-2—to win the title, 6-1 5-7 6-2.
After repeating as Stanford champion, Williams headed to the Olympics, where she was confronted with a draw that featured five players that were either currently or once ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in the world. Undaunted, she tore through that gauntlet, losing only 17 games in six matches—in other words, her average victory was 6-1 6-2. She trounced Maria Sharapova for the gold medal, 6-0 6-1, nearly double-bageling her.
Understandably fatigued from the long summer season, Williams lost in the quarterfinals in Cincinnati to Angelique Kerber, 4-6 4-6. To this date, that's her only loss since late May. Entering the semifinals, she's won 28 of her last 29 matches and is an astounding 55-4 (93.2%) this season.
After the Cincinnati loss, Williams ripped through the field at the US Open, losing only 19 games in her first six matches before being pushed and then some against Azarenka, who was serving for the championship up 5-4 in the third set. But Williams dug in and secured the break, held to consolidate and then broke to win the third set 7-5 for her fourth US Open title.
Idle until this week, Williams showed minimal signs of rustiness, defeating Kerber 6-4 6-1 to avenge her Cincinnati loss, topping Li Na 7-6 (2) 6-3 and turning back Azarenka 6-4 6-4. After playing in the first three days of the Championships, she had Friday off, and will be refreshed heading into Saturday's semifinal.
The same can't be said of her opponent, Radwanska, who had to battle for three hours and 29 minutes in her match against Sara Errani on Friday. She also played another three-hour-plus match this week, losing to Sharapova in three sets on Wednesday.
The two have faced off three times in their careers, with Williams holding a 3-0 advantage and their last meeting coming at the Wimbledon final. Given Williams' utterly indomitable form and Radwanska's quick turnaround, I can't see Williams having too much trouble moving on to the finals. She'll win the match in straights.