Serena Williams has sounded an ominous warning to current No.1 Victoria Azarenka, thumping former No.1 Caroline Wozniacki 6-0, 6-3 for an Olympic semi-final berth.
The fourth-seeded American cracked 30 winners to the Dane’s meagre seven and never faced a break point throughout, such was her dominance on serve.
Even the foundation of Wozniacki’s game – a rock solid wall of defence and minimal error count – took a hit, Williams’s 17 unforced errors just five more than her opponent’s.
The first set was a white-wash on a blustery No.1 Court, with Wozniacki winning just 31 per cent of points on her first serve.
Serving to avoid a bagel in the first set, Wozniacki sent down a tame second serve which propped nicely for the American to thump down the line for 0-15.
Williams was simply too powerful off the ground for the Dane on grass, consistently getting her on the back foot before ripping winners down the lines into the open the court.
She closed out the first set without the loss of a game after just 28 minutes and held for 1-0 to make it seven games on the trot.
When Wozniacki ended a lengthy exchange with a drop volley winner as Williams steam-rolled into the net, the crowd roared their encouragement.
The biggest cheer though was reserved for when the eighth seed – ranked No.1 as recently as this year’s Australian Open – finally got on the board, holding for 1-1.
Her best hope was to stick with Williams on serve and hope to steal the set near the brink, but Williams set about extinguishing that slim chance breaking for 3-1 and fist pumping to her team’s corner.
With Williams holding for 5-2 with an ace down the T, Wozniacki saved her best for last, claiming a drop volley winner and her first ace of the match on her way to a love hold for 3-5.
There was not a hint of nerves from the American though.
She brought up match point with a forehand winner crosscourt before closing it out with a backhand put-away after an hour and 20 minutes.
Next up is Belarusian top seed Victoria Azarenka, who Williams beat as recently as last month’s Wimbledon semi-finals.
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