By Julien Pretot
World number one Serena Williams crushed Italian Sara Errani 6-1 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the French Open in intimidating fashion on Wednesday.
The twice Roland Garros champion set up a meeting with Swiss 23rd seed Timea Bacsinszky, who beat Belgian Alison van Uytvanck 6-4 7-5.
American Williams hammered 39 winners in a one-sided encounter against the diminutive Errani, a French Open runner-up in 2012.
Williams had dropped the opening set in the previous three rounds but made no such slow start on Wednesday, setting the tone by breaking in Errani’s first service game.
A brilliant backhand passing shot handed Errani an immediate break back but Williams was by now in the groove and cantered to the opening set.
Errani upped her pace in the second as she looked quicker on her feet, but it was still not enough as Williams broke for a 4-3 lead and she finished it off on her fourth match point.