World number one Serena Williams muscled past Maria Sharapova for an 18th straight time on Tuesday to set up an Australian Open semi-final against Agnieszka Radwanska, who has never beaten the dominant American.
The six-time Melbourne Park champion heaped more misery on her long-time rival 6-4, 6-1, with the Russian fifth seed stretching her demoralising unbeaten run against the American great to 12 years.Williams said the Russian brings out the best in her.
“She is an incredibly intense player, focused player, you know she was number one and has won so many grand slams for a reason so when you’re playing someone like that, you have to come out with a lot of fire and intensity,” Williams said.
...when you're playing someone like that, you have to come out with a lot of fire and intensity.
With Sharapova again swatted aside, the 34-year-old Williams, gunning to match Steffi Graf’s Open-era Grand Slam record of 22 titles, now has the composed Pole in her sights.
She moves on to face fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the last four.
In the mens singles, Roger Federer reached his 12th Australian Open semi-final in 13 years with a clinical straight-sets win over Tomas Berdych on Tuesday.
The Swiss, 17-time Grand Slam champion, was too strong for the Czech sixth seed, winning 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, 6-4 in two hours, 16 minutes and will face either defending champion Novak Djokovic or Japan’s Kei Nishikori in Thursday’s semi-final.