World number one Williams, a 16-time Grand Slam winner seeking her fifth US Open crown and her ninth title of the year, dispatched 18th seed Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0, 6-0, in 52 minutes on the Spaniard's 25th birthday on Tuesday.
     
"I'm so happy to be in the smei-finals. It really feels great," Williams said.
     
Li, the 2011 French Open champion, overcame nervous feelings for a 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2 victory over Russian 24th seed Ekaterina Makarova.
     
Reigning French Open champion Williams is 8-1 all-time against Li but was tested 7-5, 7-5 in their most recent matchup last month in a US Open run-up semi-final at Cincinnati.
     
"She is playing some of the best tennis of her career," Williams said. "It's going to be a tough match,” she said.
    
Williams, who has dropped only 13 games in five matches on the New York hardcourts, matched the worst rout in US Open women's quarter-final history, Martina Navratilova's 6-0, 6-0 blanking of Bulgarian Manuela Maleeva in 1989.
    
Ignoring a fan's call to let the birthday girl win at least one game and a few boos when she did not, Williams showed no mercy in taking only 52 minutes to complete the rout on a windy night at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
     
"She's a great player. The conditions were so tough. It was definitely not her best tennis today. Only because I've been playing here for like 50 years, I've find of gotten used to the conditions," Williams said.

(Agencies)

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