If there were any lingering doubts that Serena Williams could claim a third French Open title at this year's tournament, they were swiftly dispelled in an expertly-executed quarter-final victory over Sara Errani.
The world No 1, a Roland Garros champion in 2002 and 2013, had been troubled in her three previous rounds, but a 6-1 6-3 crushing of the Italian clay-court ace showed the American was still a clear favourite to claim another Suzanne Lenglen Cup.
Williams will now face the 23rd-seeded Swiss Timea Bacsinszky, who beat Belgian sensation Alison van Uytvanck 6-4 7-5, for a place in Saturday's final, where either 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic or Czech Lucie Safarova await.
Having lost the first set in her three previous matches at Roland Garros, Williams was hoping to get off to a better start which she did, 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 in the groove and dominated the rest of the match.
"I definitely felt more in control, and I felt I had to be again, going up against a player who plays well on this surface in particular," said Williams, who has only been in three previous semi-finals at the French Open.
The American, however, says she is not feeling the strain of chasing her 20th major title. "I'm not putting too much pressure on myself... I'm surprised I'm still in the tournament, so this is really cool for me."
French Open women's semi-finals,
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