Serena edges top seed Halep to reach quarters
Send a link to a friend
[January 21, 2019]
By Sudipto Ganguly
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Serena Williams
staved off a spectacular fightback from world number one Simona
Halep to win 6-1 4-6 6-4 and reach the quarter-finals of the
Australian Open on Monday.
French Open champion Halep broke Williams' serve in the first game
but that was the only one she managed for the rest of the opening
set as the 23-time Grand Slam champion bulldozed her way through the
set in 20 minutes, serving it out with an ace.
The victory was a major step towards the 37-year-old U.S. great
equaling Australian Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand
Slam wins as she powered into the last eight.
It looked as if she would breeze through the match after the opening
set mauling she had handed out but the world number one Halep had
other plans as she fought back to level the contest at one set
apiece 1-1 after breaking Williams a second time.
Following an attritional first few games, the seven-times Australian
Open champion got the crucial break of serve in the seventh game of
the decider and sealed the match in an hour and 47 minutes when
Halep hit a forehand out.
"It was a really intense match and there were some incredible points
but I love playing tennis... It's really cool to be back out and
playing again on this court," Williams said in her courtside
[to top of second column]
Serena Williams of the U.S. and Romania's Simona Halep shake hands
after the match. REUTERS/Edgar Su
"I really needed to elevate my game, she's the number one player in
the world and there's a reason why.
"In order for me to stay out there, I just had to play a little bit
like I knew I could, and I did."
For a place in the semi-finals, Williams will meet Czech seventh
seed Karolina Pliskova, who thrashed twice Grand Slam champion
Garbine Muguruza 6-3 6-1 earlier on Monday.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Ian Chadband)
[© 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2019 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.