Victorious Serena hails New York crowd

The support of a home crowd proved hugely helpful to Serena Williams as she overcame a slow start to demolish Karolina Pliskova in New York.

Serena Williams lets out a roar during her US Open win over Karolina Pliskova   -  Getty Images

Serena Williams credited a partisan crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium with playing a major role in her 6-4, 6-3 triumph over Karolina Pliskova at the US Open.

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Two years on from being beaten by Pliskova in the last four of this tournament, 23-time grand slam singles champion Williams gained sweet revenge to book her place in the semifinals.

The veteran American, who gave birth to her first child during last year's US Open, got off to a shaky start and fell 3-1 down in the opening set before saving three break points in her next service game.

However, Williams responded in magnificent fashion, reeling off eight successive games on her way to an ultimately dominant victory.

In an on-court interview with ESPN, Serena made it clear she had been inspired by her supporters in the early stages of the contest.

"The crowd was really rooting for me and I felt so bad because everyone out here was cheering and I wasn't winning," she explained.

"So I thought I gotta try harder. Thank you guys so much."

American film director Spike Lee was interviewed during the match and likened Williams to two sporting greats, Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan.

When those comments were put to Williams, she replied: "To be compared to Ali or Jordan … I really have no words.

"Ali did so much for the sport, he did so much for the world and for everyone. That's what I want to do and that's what I want to be remembered for.

"It's not what I do out here, but how I can inspire people off the court, so that's my dream."

Williams, the only grand slam winner left in the women's draw, now faces Anastasija Sevastova in the last four on Thursday.

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