In Serena Williams' quest for a third straight U.S. Open title and 18th major championship, Ekaterina Makarova was little more than a speed bump Friday.
Williams hammered Makarova, 6-1, 6-3, in the second semifinal at Ashe Stadium, earning her a final matchup with Caroline Wozniacki on Sunday.
Williams was full throttle Friday, from serve to whip forehand to heavy backhand. Makarova, who made her first-ever appearance in a Slam semifinal, could only express awe.
"Serena, she is a great, unbelievable player," Makarova said. "Today she was so aggressive. I don't know, maybe I didn't think she will be that aggressive. Like she's coming so early. So sometimes I was too late because she was too fast."
Williams and Makarova had not lost a set in reaching the semis. Williams' run here, while not surprising, comes after a Grand Slam season in which she had failed to get past the fourth round.
She looked back at her third-round loss to Alize Cornet at Wimbledon as a steppingstone to another championship season.
"I really worked hard for Wimbledon," she said Friday. "I was really disappointed and sad and shocked that I wasn't able to win. I worked hours more than I worked before. Maybe it's just now paying off."