“I definitely would still be playing if I had already passed it. I’ve had so many chances to pass it and to have a lot more, but it’s cool because I’m playing in an era, like five eras with so many amazing players.
“If you look at the span of the career, the players I’ve played, it’s amazing that I was able to get this many.”
Dropping just one set en route to the semifinals, Williams has only looked stronger with each win, allowing Wang Qiang just one game in the quarterfinals.
“I felt more prepared this tournament. Wimbledon I probably had a week to prepare, so that was amazing. Australia, I was super prepared. I did great, then rolled my ankle. I shouldn’t have even played the French Open. That was just a bonus just to compete in another Grand Slam.
“I just feel like I actually had time to train. I joked I trained more for Canada than I did for any other tournament this year, which was kind of funny. I just had a really tough year with injuries, mostly bad luck. I just needed to get injury-free.”
Across the net was Svitolina, playing her second straight major semifinal after reaching her first two months ago at Wimbledon. Though the Ukrainian trailed Williams 1-4 in their previous matches, she had won their most recent encounter at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Svitolina was accordingly on the attack to start, engineering three break points in the opening game. Williams saved all three and flipped a 40-0 deficit in the following game to earn an essential break.
After 16 minutes decided the first two games, Williams remained in control for the remainder of the opening set, saving three more break points and ultimately serving it out on her first set point.