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Her recent surge includes titles at Wimbledon and the London Olympics.

“It’s really awesome,” Williams said in an on-court interview. “That is what I wanted, and what I dreamed of, all year.”

In many ways, her semifinal was a complete mismatch.

Errani had never been past the third round at the U.S. Open — and never past the fourth round at any major tournament — until this year. She reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in January, then made it all the way to the final at the French Open, losing there to Sharapova.

So Friday’s match was only her second major semifinal, Williams‘ 22nd, and that disparity showed right from the outset.

Errani did not even come within a point of winning a game until she already trailed 5-0. When Williams netted a backhand, Errani got on the board at 5-1.

By then, the outcome was clear.

When Errani finally won a second game, getting to 2-1 in the second set with an inside-out forehand to hold serve, she let out a yelp and skipped toward the sideline.

Errani won the first point of the next game, too, with a well-angled groundstroke winner that made it love-15.

At that moment, it was as if Williams said to herself, “OK, enough is enough.”

She won four points in a row to hold for a 3-1 lead like this: 102 mph service winner, 117 mph ace, 114 mph ace, 119 mph ace.

In the next game, Williams dumped a swinging backhand volley into the net and hopped in place, angry with herself, but then restored order to break yet again and make it 4-1.

Williams, who turns 31 on Sept. 26, is trying to become the first 30-year-old woman to win the U.S. Open since Martina Navratilova in 1987. She’s also hoping to become the first woman with championships at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open since — yes, you guessed it — Williams did it in 2002.

“She’s not unbeatable. No one is unbeatable. Anyone can lose. But if she plays well, she’s the best in the world,” Errani said. “It’s stressful against her. She puts a lot of pressure on you. You need to play quickly. You don’t have even a tiny chance to control a point the way you would want to.”