Serena Williams has swept past Russia's Ekaterina Makarova to reach the US Open final for the third successive year, as the world number one seeks to create Tennis history.

Williams, seeking to win an 18th Grand Slam title, will play Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark after powering through Makarova 6-1, 6-3 on Friday.

The American needed exactly one hour to subdue 17th-seeded Makarova, who was playing in her first Grand Slam semi-final after coming up empty in four prior quarter-final appearances.

"Oh my God, it feels so good," said Williams, who sank almost to her knees screaming "Yes!" when Makarova pushed a last forehand wide. "I'm so happy, you have no idea."

The 32-year-old Williams, winner of the past two titles at Flushing Meadows and five overall, will try to match Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova's 18 career major titles when she faces Wozniacki on Sunday.

Court drama

The 10th-seeded Dane was leading 7-6 (7/1) 4-3 when China's Peng Shuai dramatically retired from their semi-final with heat related illness.

Peng, in growing discomfort in the second set in the hot sunshine bathing Arthur Ashe Stadium court, was overcome in the eighth game, reeling to the back of the court where she was eventually attended by a trainer and a supervisor.

"It was very difficult to watch," said Wozniacki, who went to Peng's side when she fell to the court.

After some discussion she was helped from the court and granted a confusing and controversial mid-game medical timeout as Wozniacki, facing a break point, was left to try to stay loose hitting practice serves.

"She was in distress, she had a heat-related illness," said tournament director David Brewer after the match, adding that Peng was recovering well in the on-site medical facility.

Wozniacki, who shocked five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova in the fourth round, is back in a Grand Slam final for the first time since losing in the 2009 US Open final to Kim Clijsters.

Source: AFP