Australian Open: Grand slam record in sight as Serena Williams books semi-final spot by beating Simona Halep

Serena Williams admits she is grateful for each match she wins after powering previous world No.2 Simona Halep to e-book her spot in a ninth Australian Open semi-final.

Of their first assembly since Halep’s demolition of Williams in the 2019 Wimbledon remaining, the American nice rediscovered her top-form to actual revenge on the Romanian and triumph 6-3 6-3 on Rod Laver Area.

Serena Williams is through to the final four.
Digicam IconSerena Williams is thru to the ultimate 4. Credit score: DEAN LEWINS/AAPIMAGE

Remarkably, the 23-time grand slam winner has by no means misplaced a semi-final at Melbourne Park and now faces Open favorite and 2019 champion Naomi Osaka.

Tuesday’s match, which lasted 81 minutes, was far nearer than the scoreline suggests, with Halep main 3-1 in the second set.

However the 39-year-old American recovered to take the ultimate 5 video games of the match in a superb show of power-hitting, smashing 24 winners to Halep’s 9.

“I positively suppose that is the perfect match I’ve performed this event,“ Williams mentioned.

“I needed to (play that effectively) going up in opposition to the No.2 in the world.

“I knew that I needed to do higher and that’s what I did. I’m excited.”

Williams will tackle Osaka, who ended the fairytale run of Taiwan’s Hsieh Su- Wei with a 6-2 6-2 demolition job in the quarter-finals, for a second time at a significant.

OPEN FAIRYTALE ROLLS ON

Punters might have taken any previous odds for Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev to be the primary man by means of to the 2021 Australian Open semi-finals at Melbourne Park.

However they’d be amassing, too, after the world No.114 grew to become the primary participant in 53 years {of professional} tennis to achieve the final 4 of a significant on his grand slam debut.

The Australian Open fairytale rolls on for Russia's Aslan Karatsev.
Digicam IconThe Australian Open fairytale rolls on for Russia’s Aslan Karatsev. Credit score: Andy Brownbill/AP

Karatsev continued his fairytale run with a 2-6 6-4 6-1 6-2 quarter-final overcome a wounded Grigor Dimitrov.

The 27-year-old can also be solely the fifth qualifier to make a grand slam semi-final, becoming a member of the nice John McEnroe, Aussie Bob Giltinan, Belgian Filip Dewulf and countryman Vladimir Voltchkov in the historical past books.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling, after all. The primary time taking part in a principal draw, first time taking part in the semis. It’s unbelievable,” he mentioned.

Dimitrov, a former Open semi-finalist himself, regarded like stopping after dropping the third set however valiantly — and forlornly — continued on after receiving remedy for a again harm.

However Bulgaria’s one-time world No.3 might barely transfer at instances and his return to Rod Laver Area for the final set was merely a keep of execution.

Dimitrov was shattered on the timing of his harm.

“It’s been some time that I’ve been to a quarter-finals, so I actually preferred my probabilities,” he mentioned.

“I felt nice. I didn’t see any of that coming. It was like one of many first instances that I really felt that effectively at a slam.

Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov receives treatment during this quarter-final against Russia's Aslan Karatsev.
Digicam IconBulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov receives remedy throughout this quarter-final in opposition to Russia’s Aslan Karatsev. Credit score: Hamish Blair/AP

“I haven’t misplaced a set, shifting effectively, serving effectively. I felt like lastly all of the elements have been type of coming by means of with out doing any additional effort.

“I really don’t know what else to say. It sucks. Once more, it’s sport. That’s why you need to carry on making an attempt to the top.

“I give respect to the man, as effectively. He noticed me struggling and he stored on doing what he needed to do. That’s it.”