Published: Mon, January 21, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Serena Williams knocks out Simona Halep to reach Australian Open quarter-finals

Serena Williams knocks out Simona Halep to reach Australian Open quarter-finals

Six-time Australian Open Serena Williams scored her 17th career win against a reigning World No.1 inside Rod Laver Arena on Monday night, as she came through a highly-anticipated round of 16 match with top seed Simona Halep to reach her 13th career quarterfinal at the Australian Open, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.

Before Serena Williams' victory over Simona Halep there was a slightly awkward moment as the 23-time grand slam singles champion walked onto centre court.

The seven-time champion will meet Czech seventh seed Karolina Pliskova, who beat Spain's two-time Grand Slam victor Garbine Muguruza earlier on Monday, in the last eight.

"I'm such a fighter, I never give up", declared Williams after the epic encounter.

But Williams delivered a fatal blow to break for a 4-3 lead and made no mistake in booking her spot in the next round.

To get another shot at the prize, the remarkable American has to beat Karolina Pliskova in the quarter-final on Wednesday, and either Naomi Osaka - who famously ignored her meltdown in the final at Flushing Meadows last September to win the US Open - or the sixth seed, Elina Svitolina.

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She said courtside, "It was a really intense match, with some incredible points".

" She is the No 1 player in the world and there is a reason why, she elevates her game". It's just great to be back out playing again on this court.

The American, who won the title when pregnant on her last visit down under in 2017, was forced to work far harder than in her first three matches at Melbourne Park as the Romanian fought back in the second set, but the American regained her composure to advance to the final eight. I don't know, it's definitely something that's innate.

"I didn't play well that match, so for sure would be good revenge to play her again", said Pliskova, who is yet to lose in 2019. I had to just play a little bit like I knew I could and I did, and I think hopefully that was the difference.

Another major would match Margaret Court's tally and an intensely-focused Williams had not dropped a set in three matches before meeting Halep.

While Williams stayed cool, highly-rated German fourth seed Zverev lost the plot against Canadian Milos Raonic, crashing 6-1, 6-1, 7-6 (7/5) and demolishing a racquet in a massive meltdown.

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