NEW YORK (AP) — Serena Williams overcame a difficult first set to advance to the U.S. Open semifinals Thursday with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Williams, the 28th seed but the favorite to win at Flushing Meadows, lost serve in the first game of the match but won it back in a love game to make it 3-3, then got another break to win the first set 7-5.

The second set against the 17th-seeded Pavlyuchenkova took a half hour, and Williams moved two wins away from her 14th Grand Slam title.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

Watch & Listen LIVE