Australian Open: Serena Williams defeats Simona Halep to stage successful semi-final with Naomi Osaka

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The 23-time Grand Slam champion had a dominant performance against the Romanian, winning 6-3 6-3 on Tuesday at Rod Laver Arena.

It will be the 40th Grand Slam semi-final of Williams’ career as the 39-year-old seeks to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 career Grand Slam wins.

“I really think it’s the best game I’ve played in this tournament,” Williams said afterwards.
Williams serves against Halep in their women's singles match.
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“Obviously I had to do it, face the world No.2. I knew I had to do better and that’s what I did. I watched her and I’m sure she was watching me.

“I think it’s such a great opportunity for me to keep doing my best. It’s the first Grand Slam of the year for me. I’ve had an incredibly long and arduous offseason. And so, I’m honestly happy with every win I get. “

The American will now face three-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka in the semifinals after the 23-year-old defeated Hsieh Su-wei in just 66 minutes – 6-2 6-2 – in the quarter-finals.

The semi-final between Williams and Osaka will be the pair’s first Grand Slam meeting since the 2018 US Open final when Williams clashed with referee Carlos Ramos.

After almost four years since his last Grand Slam victory – which came in 2017 at the Australian Open – there seems to be a new spring in Williams’ stage.

READ: READ: Serena vs Osaka – remembering the 2018 US Open final
Williams celebrates after winning a point against Halep.

Having struggled at times with her speed on the pitch, the 39-year-old seems to have regained that speed and as a result Halep has not reciprocated.

Williams made his way around the short Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, smashing Halep early in the first set and not releasing his grip in the opening salvo.

And although Halep showed her champion spirit in the second set – the Romanian is a two-time Grand Slam winner – to quickly take a 3-1 lead, Williams never blinked.

Her excellent defense and comeback brought her back into the set, ultimately setting up a series of dominating matches that concluded her victory in one hour and 21 minutes.

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Williams and Halep touch rackets at the net after the game.

This means that since the middle of 2010, Williams has lost just two Grand Slam quarter-finals.

Now, the seven-time Australian Open winner will face Osaka in a highly anticipated semi-final, their first Grand Slam meeting since that infamous US Open clash in New York.

The final saw Osaka win their first major title after Williams accused referee Ramos of being a “thief.” Williams was ultimately fined $ 17,000 for three code violations because of her behavior.
Although Ramos turned down numerous interview requests from media around the world to give his side of the story, he told Portuguese newspaper Tribuna Expresso a week after the final: “I’m fine, under the circumstances. is an unfortunate situation but there is no such thing as a la carte arbitrage. Don’t worry about me! “

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