Serena Williams produces ‘best match’ at Australian Open to oust Simona Halep and set up Naomi Osaka clash
Serena Williams gained revenge for her Wimbledon final loss to Simona Halep to set up a blockbuster Australian Open semi-final against Naomi Osaka.
Halep produced a sensational performance to stun Williams 6-2, 6-2 at the All England Club in 2019 – one of four grand slam finals the American has lost since winning her 23rd major singles title in Melbourne four years ago.
Williams began this match with a determination to ensure there was no repeat and powered her way to a 6-3, 6-3 victory.
👏 @serenawilliams advances to her 4️⃣0️⃣th Grand Slam semifinal 👏
The No.10 seed defeats World No.2 Halep 6-3, 6-3.#AO2021 pic.twitter.com/SFzVZiKj86
— wta (@WTA) February 16, 2021
In her on-court interview, she said: “I definitely think this is the best match this tournament and obviously I had to going up against the number two in the world. I knew that I had to do better and that’s what I did so I’m excited.”
The quality of the second set did not match the first, with Williams making a host of unforced errors, but Halep could not take advantage.
Osaka will surely not be so generous in what will be a first slam meeting between the pair since their notorious US Open final in 2018, when Williams received a game penalty for verbally abusing umpire Carlos Ramos and Osaka’s first major title was accompanied by deafening boos and whistles.
Since then the Japanese player has won two more slam titles and is unbeaten on the biggest stage since last year’s Australian Open.
Williams shot out of the blocks here, moving into a 2-0 lead with a combination of extreme power and incredible angles.
Halep fought back to level but Williams forged ahead again and confidently served out the set.
The 39-year-old, who is once again two matches away from finally equalling Margaret Court’s record of 24 Slam singles titles, made a shaky start to the second set, spraying unforced errors as Halep moved into a 3-1 lead.
But the Romanian was unable to find the level to put doubts into Williams’ mind and the 10th seed finished the match with a run of five games in a row.
Follow us on Twitter @T365Official and like our Facebook page.
American No 1 Jessica Pegula headlines Charleston Open draw
Jessica Pegula headlines the Charleston Open field.
Petra Kvitova plays spoiler in Miami Open triumph over Elena Rybakina
Petra Kvitova claimed her 30th WTA Tour title at the Miami Open.
Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov welcome Wimbledon call
Russians and Belarusians will be allowed to play if they sign neutrality agreements.
Jessica Pegula signs deal with Stella Artois, Frances Tiafoe demands commission
Jessica Pegula has attracted a sponsor at last.
Nick Kyrgios says he would have quit tennis if he won Wimbledon
Nick Kyrgios also named Novak Djokovic as his GOAT pick.
No 1 ranking has an asterisk against it as Novak Djokovic reclaims top spot
World No 1 debate won’t be resolved until Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz settle it on court.
Petra Kvitova stands between Elena Rybakina and the Sunshine Double
Petra Kvitova will contest her 13th WTA 1000 final against the streaking Elena Rybakina.
Sensational Jannik Sinner downs Carlos Alcaraz to book second Masters final
Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz just can’t help but put on absolute bangers.
Bianca Andreescu posts video showing she is back on her feet after horror injury
Bianca Andreescu has posted a further update, showing her walking her dog Coco with a boot protecting her damaged ankle.
Wimbledon’s decision to lift Russian and Belarusian player ban slammed as ‘immoral’
Wimbledon lambasted for giving Russian and Belarusian players the green light to compete.