Serena Williams ended Johanna Konta‘s bid for a maiden Grand Slam title and kept alive her own hopes of a 23rd with a 6-2 6-3 Australian Open quarter-final victory.
Williams produced her most complete display of the tournament combining her fearsome serve with trademark power hitting to join her sister Venus in the semi-final in Melbourne – the first time in a Grand Slam two players over the age of 35 have reached the last four.
The 35-year-old American fired down 10 aces and blasted 25 winners in a 75-minute display that looked ominous for the remaining three contenders for the women’s title and also kept alive the possibility of an all-Williams Grand Slam final for the first time since 2009.
Konta, bidding to becomes Britain’s first female Grand Slam singles winner since 1977, came into the match as one of the form players in the game having won the Sydney International title earlier this month and the ninth seed had one glimmer of opportunity when she broke in the second set to lead 3-1.
However that only seemed to spur on Williams who reeled off five games in succession to claim the victory and reach the last four for the ninth consecutive Grand Slam as well as maintaining hopes of a seventh Australian Open crown.
Victory on Rod Laver Arena also maintains her quest to go clear at the top of the women’s game with 23 slam titles, she currently sits level with Steffi Graf and if her form against Konta is anything to go by she will take some stopping.
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Up next for Williams is 34-year-old Mirjana Lucic-Baroni who continued one of Grand Slam tennis’ most fairytale runs with a stunning three-set victory over fifth seed Karolina Pliskova
Lucic-Baroni had been one of the stories of the tournament, reaching the last eight of a Grand Slam for only the second time in her career and the first since Wimbledon in 1999.
And she matched her achievement of 18 years ago when she reached the semi-final at the All-England Club by seeing off last year’s US Open runner-up 6-4 3-6 6-4 to set up a showdown with Williams.