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Summary

  1. Serena Williams beats Ekaterina Makarova 6-1 6-3 in second semi
  2. Defending champion will face Caroline Wozniacki in Sunday's final
  3. Wozniacki won first semi-final after Peng Shaui retired
  4. Peng unable to carry on at 7-6 4-3 down because of heatstroke
  5. Sania Mirza and Bruno Soares win mixed doubles title
  6. Britain's Andy Lapthorne through to wheelchair quad singles final
  7. * denotes next to serve

Live Reporting

By Stephan Shemilt

All times stated are UK

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That is for tomorrow. Tonight belongs to Carolina Wozniacki and Serena Williams. Best buds? There's nothing like a Grand Slam final to test a friendship. Goodnight.

But before then, there's the small matter of the men's semis, taking place on a super Saturday in NYC. Novak Djokovic v Kei Nishikori, followed by Roger Federer v Marin Cilic. A Wimbledon final repeat, or will the upstarts crash the party? It kicks off tomorrow from 17:00 BST.

Jill Craybas

Former WTA Tour professional on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"Even after having 17 Grand Slam titles Serena still appreciates every time she is out here. She has such a positive attitude and loves this kind of atmosphere. The criticism she has had this year about her form may be a motivating factor for her."

Serena Williams, reacts after defeating Ekaterina Makarova, of Russia
AP

So, a year on from her last Grand Slam final, Serena Williams is there again. After a disappointing year in the majors, Williams will attempt to tie the 18 Slams of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. That's for Sunday, and a battle with her great mate Wozniacki.

Serena Williams: "It feels so good. I am so happy. I didn't think I would be here today. I don't know what to say.

"I know she's so aggressive, so I was really focussed. I just tried to win, I don't know.

"Playing all summer has given me a lot of confidence. You have no idea what this means to me, I'm really excited.

"Caroline wants to win and I want to win. Regardless, I'll be happy with the outcome. She's a great girl, we've been looking forward to this since the draw came out. We'll have a lot of fun."

Jill Craybas

Former WTA Tour professional on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"Serena played so well from the start and dominated. She knows Makarova is a good player and that's why she came out so strongly. I just think Makarova could have pushed Serena more from the start."

USA; Serena Williams, left, shakes hands with Ekaterina Makarova
Reuters

Game, set and match

Williams 6-1 6-3 Makarova

"I am a champion and you're gonna hear me roar" is the song on the public address system. Today, Ekaterina Makarova heard Serena Williams roar. A Makarova backhand wide completes the demolition job and Williams is in to her eighth US Open final. Caroline Wozniacki would have been best off not watching that.

Serena Williams of the United States celebrates
Getty Images

Williams 6-1 5-3 Makarova*

New York, normal service is resumed. Makarova may be playing her best tennis of the match, but Williams has gears to go through. A backhand to the shoelaces, a Makarova error. It's match point to Williams.

Serena Williams of the United States reacts
Getty Images

Jill Craybas

Former WTA Tour professional on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"It can happen when you are so far behind that the pressure is off and you can start swinging away and start making a few points. It would have been interesting if she had started the match like this."

Makarova breaks

Williams 6-1 5-3 Makarova*

The court covered in clouds, Williams batters down one unreturnable, the punishes the ball with a series of forehands. Hang on, though, what's going on here? Williams wavering, a long backhand giving away a break point. This isn't right? Serena into the net. Makarova breaks. Tell that taxi to wait.

*Williams 6-1 5-2 Makarova

Hmmm, Makarova may be done here. 30-0 up, but a wild forehand and a too-cute drop gets Williams back to 30-30. Nope, the Russian lives on thanks to two Williams net-disturbers. Surely only a delay of the inevitable. Williams to serve for the match.

Ekaterina Makarova, of Russia, returns a shot
AP

Williams 6-1 5-1 Makarova*

Williams, the most dangerous creature you will ever see in pink leopard print, has the balls on her racquet and the wind at her back. She pulls Makarova from side to side, asking the Russian to chase balls that have already flashed past. Hold to 15 completed with an ace, demolition job almost complete.

Usain Bolt in New York

Usain Bolt's picture
Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth, is watching Serena Williams from the comfort of the players' box. He has t

weeted this picture above with the message: Champion in action @SerenaWilliams

*Williams 6-1 4-1 Makarova

At the moment, you'd say Makarova has done well to have nought in this second set. Williams is yet to drop a point on serve and two backhand errors have Makarova 0-30 down. Brief respite, but another Russian error gives Serena two break points. A failed attempt at a one-legged, leaning backhand at least shows Williams is human, with a Makarova bomb of her own clawing it back to 40-40. When Williams goes long, Makarova halts a run of nine games against her with a string of backhands. The Russian is on the board.

Williams 6-1 4-0 Makarova*

Serena Williams
AP

New York is five hours behind us good folk on BST, so it's just past 17:00 in the Big Apple. Is something good on the telly at 18:00? Repeat of Friends maybe? Williams will get to see it, because this is exhibition stuff now, another run to the net, a tricky put-away, a backhand winner completing a hold to love. Formidable.

Jill Craybas

Former WTA Tour professional on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"Makarova is looking over to her box, throwing her arms up in the air, and looking to her coach because she doesn't know what to do. Serena Williams has played well this tournament but this is the best I have seen her play so far."

*Williams 6-1 3-0 Makarova

Even the sound of ball on racquet is more violent when the strings make contact. Makarova serving, but she may as well be under-arming them over the net. Williams gobbles up the first of two break points. Don't worry Ekaterina, there's perhaps no other woman in the history of the game that could hang in there with Williams in this mood.

Williams 6-1 2-0 Makarova*

There's someone sitting next to the chair umpire (a woman, I think), holding what looks like a camera that stays entirely focused on the flight of the ball. What's that all about? Meanwhile, Williams continues to punish the ball. Ace. 121mph. Casual. Follow that up with another. Hold to love. Put the showers on, they'll be there soon.

Jill Craybas

Former WTA Tour professional on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"Serena has more unforced errors but she also has more winners. That shows she's the aggressor and is taking the game to Makarova. What is amazing is she is so strong but is also so fast around the court."

Williams breaks

*Williams 6-1 1-0 Makarova

Into the net this time. Williams breaks at the earliest opportunity, a final place seemingly a case of when, not if.

Williams 6-1 Makarova*

It's almost as if everyone else is being made to hurry up because Williams is in a rush. Already back out for the second set, the right-hand of the court the only part in sunshine, Makarova is instantly under pressure. Long, long, wide. Three break points.

Piers Newbery

BBC Sport at Flushing Meadows

"As Flushing Meadows comes to terms with the unexpected end to the first semi-final, Serena Williams has set about the second with every intention of making it a drama-free zone.

"With her forehand firing on all cylinders, the American has raced through the first set. Williams required treatment to her right foot during the doubles defeat earlier in the week, and although there has been so sign of a recurrence, she is clearly keen to make this as swift as possible."

Serena Williams, of the United States, walks to the other side of the court
AP

Game and first set

Williams 6-1 Makarova

That'll do. Makarova is feeling the full force of a New York wind called Hurricane Serena. Only 26 minutes for Williams to move halfway to the US Open final. It's hard to see how the second set will follow a different course.

Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates a point
Reuters

*Williams 5-1 Makarova

Bounce ball. Throw ball. Hit ball very hard. Repeat. The Williams mantra. Makarova, the cannon fodder, does all she can to return fire, but a stand-and-deliver backhand brings up two set points. Awesome.

Jill Craybas

Former WTA Tour professional on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"Makarova is not serving well. She needs to get her first serve percentage up because Serena is getting too many second serves and she's taking advantage."

*Williams 5-1 Makarova

From here, it's got the potential to get messy. Makarova is being pushed into submission by the grenades being lobbed from the other side of the net. The Russian is struggling to keep the ball in the court, but it's because of the Serena onslaught. Two break points, one saved when Williams nets. No mistake second time round, though. Makarova long, Williams serving for the set.

Williams 4-1 Makarova*

Williams is a light-footed battering ram, asking Makarova to scamper all over. Sister Venus looks on as Williams, impressive mane tied back, errs for 30-30. A chink for Makarova? A little, aided by a Williams double that takes us to 40-40. Happy, Serena? Maybe not, but the chuntering at her chair is at least on the back of two forehand winners for a 4-1 lead.

Williams breaks

*Williams 3-1 Makarova

An exchange between Williams and the umpire results in an unsuccessful Williams challenge, but that is forgotten when Makarova goes long. Williams breaks. Ominous.

Serena Williams of the United States reacts
Getty Images

Williams 2-1 Makarova*

Williams, a decade and a half on from her first US crown, wiggles as she waits for the Makarova serve in very strong winds. Makarova, serving with the wind for the first time, goes long and then nets, before a Williams forehand from an impossible angle opens up 15-40 and two break points.

Williams 2-1 Makarova*

Ekaterina Makarova of Russia returns
Getty Images

It's been said that Makarova has a look of Steffi Graf. I'm not sure I see it, other than she is tall and blonde. The Russian is looking to delay Williams, who is into the groove of belting the forehand and now a first ace of the match. One more groundshaking forehand sends us to the chairs.

*Williams 1-1 Makarova

Chants of support for Makarova as she switches ends, serving from beneath a white visor. Williams, pink leopard print, sways from side to side, and is on the receiving end of some Russian hitting before she batters a forehand return. 40-30, but the Williams forehand for once lets her down to get Makarova on the board.

Williams 1-0 Makarova*

Serena Williams
Getty Images

Ekaterina, meet Serena's forehand. You may be well acquainted before this day is done. Makarova, the leftie, at least serves notice of what she is capable of with a double-handed backhand winner, but it's a comfortable hold for Williams.

*Williams 0-0 Makarova

"Time," is the call from the chair, with Williams biffing down one more serve before returning to her chair for a stripping of the jacket. Makarova reties her laces and towels down before heading off to the far end, where the wind will be behind her. Williams will serve.

The players are on court, Makarova in Wimbledon white and Williams in a black jacket over a pink dress. You read that right, a jacket. As if we're at a black-tie event.

I'm glad you mentioned the doubles, Serena, because they provide Makarova with a little encouragement. With her partner Elena Vesnina, Makarova brushed aside Serena and sister Venus in the quarter-finals of the women's doubles in straight sets.

Perhaps, but Williams hasn't had the best of years at the Slams - the fourth round at the Australian Open her best performance.

Not that she's worried.

"It's so easy now because it's almost a joke for me because I have done little to no winning in the majors," she said. "And I thought, 'Take it as a joke. Oh my God, I'm past the fourth round. Woo'. I'd better play doubles just in case I don't make it past the second round. At least I have a back-up plan."

Does Serena Williams need an introduction? 17 Grand Slams, five US Opens, the defending champion, no sets dropped on the way to a meeting with the 17th-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova, who has never before reached a semi-final at the majors.

No contest?

After that drama it's now time to turn our focus to the second semi-final and coming up next Serena Williams, the defending champion, takes on Ekaterina Makarova. Wonder if they are aware of what's been going on?

David Law

BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark (R) checks on Peng Shuai
EPA

"It's distressing to see players in such physical discomfort and it would have been sensible, if it's in the rules, for someone to have stopped the match. I think tennis need to look at that."

Jeff Tarango

Former professional tennis player on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"You feel like it's not a victory but Caroline did everything she had to do to win the match. It was really sad to watch and you never want to see someone go out like that."