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Time and Serena wait for no one in Errani blitz

Serena Williams of the U.S. eyes the ball during her women's singles semi-final match against Sara Errani of Italy at the French Open tennis
Serena Williams of the U.S. eyes the ball during her women's singles semi-final match against Sara Errani of Italy at the French Open tennis

By Pritha Sarkar

PARIS (Reuters) - Serena Williams has no qualms about keeping people waiting. But if others want the queen of tennis to play the waiting game - they can think again.

The world number one was in no mood to dally around on Philippe Chatrier Court on Thursday as she unleashed all her firepower to wallop Sara Errani 6-0 6-1 to reach the French Open final for the first time since 2002.

She blitzed last year's runner-up in 46 spellbinding minutes to complete the most one sided semi-final win at the claycourt grand slam since compatriot Chris Evert whitewashed Camille Benjamin 6-0 6-0 in 1984.

Williams appeared to be in a world of her own as she kept Errani hanging around at the net for the coin toss while she very slowly peeled off the dark grey jogging bottoms she wore under her dress and meticulously folded it together.

When Williams finally did turn her attention to the Italian, she made short work of her startled opponent.

The American, who owns only one Suzanne Lenglen Cup among her 15 grand slam trophies, left the fifth seed down and out after producing 40 screaming winners to set up a showdown with defending champion Maria Sharapova.

Errani won only 16 points in the entire match and did not even manage to muster an outright winner from her racket until the 10th game of the contest.

IS THAT ME?

A shell-shocked Errani repeatedly used just one word to describe her opponent's performance.

"She played unbelievable. That's it," said Errani.

"What she did today is unbelievable. She's an unbelievable player."

Williams agreed: "Sometimes I'm surprised. I'm like, Is that me?"

The match-up between the two seemed lopsided even before the players got on court.

Williams had 15 majors, Errani none.

Williams had won 234 grand slam matches, Errani 37.

Williams was appearing in her 23rd grand slam semi-final, Errani her third.

Williams had won five of their previous meetings, Errani none.

When the duo stood side-by-side at the net for the pre-match photocall, just what a tall order the diminutive Errani faced was apparent to all those packed into the arena.

There were early signs that it might be a bad day for Errani when she tripped up and landed on her hands after launching into her very first serve.

Had she known what would unfold, she may have not bothered getting back on her feet.

She watched Williams blast forehand winners, blitz service return winners, zip backhand winners and smash overhead winners.

It was little wonder that when the players retreated to their seats with the American leading 6-0 3-0, a dejected Errani appeared on the verge of breaking down.

She blinked back the tears to finally produce a crosscourt winner in the next game, a point that took 35-minutes in the making, and pumped both arms in the air seconds later when the scoreboard finally registered a game next to her name.

The rapturous applause were soon drowned out, however, with yet another booming winner flying off Williams' racket and she finished off proceedings in typical fashion, a blinding ace.

(Reporting by Pritha Sarkar editing by Tony Jimenez and Justin Palmer)

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