Williams says semifinal FCC win was one of her best

Serena Williams looked slightly unorthodox as she made her final and victory-sealing return of the day. (Brian Troutman/WCIV)

By Brian

DANIEL ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) - Dominant. There's no other way to describe it.

After Serena Williams defeated Aussie Samantha Stosur 6-1, 6-1 in the semifinals of the Family Circle Cup Saturday afternoon she admitted some of her best shots were made with her eyes closed.

"Yeah, I have to say this is probably the best match I've played in my career either in a long time, or it's up there in the top five," Williams said during the post-match press conference.

Williams' father and coach, Richard Williams seemed to know. Heads often turned his direction as he sat on the edge of his seat and cheered for Serena. Occasionally he would stand and clap, grinning like a kid in a candy store.

Serena Williams lauded Stosur as a top-tier clay court player and said her ability to win in the fashion she did makes the victory a positive win. Williams admitted though she has been training hard this year, she had only practiced on a clay surface once before the start of the 2012 Family Circle Cup.

Stosur knew Williams was not a fan of clay courts coming into Saturday's semifinal. After defeating her sister Venus 7-5, 6-2 in quarterfinal play Friday, she hoped it would give her an advantage, but she admitted playing Serena would be tough, no matter the surface.{}

Little did Stosur know, Serena Williams would play nearly flawlessly before a Daniel Island crowd hungry for such a performance from the tennis greats in the tournament. Stosur could do nothing but grin as she shook the hand of Williams after the match, a player she defeated to win the 2011 U.S. Open.

"Obviously she was way too good today," Stosur said. "I think she was pretty happy with the way she played, and I mean, what can you do? It wasn't bad luck. She just beat me, fair and square."

It was just one of those days. Williams was relaxed, and everything just seemed to go her way.

"I swear, I it this one swing volley and my eyes were closed. I don't know how I made the shot, so maybe it was just one of those days," she said.

Eyes open or shut, all Stosur knew was that Williams returned well on almost every occasion.{}

"...Really didn't allow me to almost take a breath when I was serving," Stosur said. "Before I knew it, the ball was back on me, and you know, she really attacked that part of my game very well. I think she just really stood up on the baseline and swung really well and hit the balls close to the lines and really had me off balance. So yeah, she just played a very aggressive match today."

Williams credited her relaxed play to her ability to minimize mistakes on the court. She said it feels good to play relaxed and with few errors. She was all smiles and laughter as she spoke to a crowded room of journalists from the Charleston area as well as major sports publications and programming.

"I love that I'm playing some great tennis in my career at this point," she said.

Williams will face Lucie Safarova on Sunday, who defeated Polona Hercog 6-0, 6-0 in the other semifinal match on Saturday.

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