Monday, July 4, 2022

Serena Williams Whoops Maria Sharapova to Make Aussie Open Semifinals

Serena Williams of the United States plays a backhand in her quarter final match against Maria Sharapova of Russia during day nine of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.
Serena Williams of the United States plays a backhand in her quarter final match against Maria Sharapova of Russia during day nine of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.

*Serena Williams has extended her streak to 18 consecutive wins against Maria Sharapova with a 6-4, 6-1 quarterfinal victory on Tuesday at the Australian Open.

In the women’s semifinals, Williams will be facing fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat No. 10 Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-3. Radwanska has won one of her previous four semifinals at a major, but never won a Grand Slam title.

Williams is 8-0 against Radwanska, including their meeting in the 2012 Wimbledon final.

Maria Sharapova of Russia congratulates Serena Williams of the United States on winning their quarter final match during day nine of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.
Maria Sharapova of Russia congratulates Serena Williams of the United States on winning their quarter final match during day nine of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.

Williams said she couldn’t explain her 11-year domination of Sharapova – she has won 19 of their 21 meetings overall – except to say she rises to the big challenges.

”When I play her, I know automatically I have to step up my game,” said Williams, a 21-time major winner. ”I think that makes me play better.

”When I’m forced to play better, I do well.”

Sharapova hasn’t given up hope of breaking a drought against Williams that goes back to 2004.

”It’s motivating because she’s at a different level,” Sharapova said. ”She makes you go back to the drawing board, not just for me, but for many other players. She makes you work. That’s inspiring.”

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