Serena Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam winner, beat world number two Simona Halep from Romania in two sets at the Australian Open.
The match lasted one hour and 21 minutes. Williams, 39, served four aces, made one double-fault and converted six of her 13 break points. The Romanian had no aces, two double-faults and three break points. Williams won the game 2-0 (6-3, 6-3).
It is worth saying that the American was the favorite of this meeting, according to the bookmaker companies (you can find reviews of the best of them on Centreforum.org). The odds of Serena winning were estimated at 1.75 (57%) and 2.17 (46%) for the Romanian athlete.
After the loss Halep told reporters that she considered her game in this match quite good, so she does not feel guilty about the defeat. In general, according to Simona, only the overall level of her performance at the tournament can cause dissatisfaction. But this is another reason for her to analyze her game and continue working on herself.
Serena Williams in an interview for the official YouTube channel of the Australian Open said that the match against Halep was her best game at the tournament, even though the American made a lot of mistakes in the second set. Throughout the match, she tried not to fall out of the game, and the fact that the Romanian is No.2 in the world motivated Serena to increase in quality and speed.
According to the official WTA website, Williams has defeated top-3 players 12 times at Grand Slam tournaments. Also, for Serena winning the match against Halep was her 362nd singles triumph. Serena caught up with the Swiss Roger Federer. Martina Navratilova won 306 victories, Novak Djokovic won 300 matches, Chris Evert won 299.
Serena, once the world number one, is now ranked 11th in the Women's Tennis Association. In the semi-finals, which will be held on February 18, she will play with No. 3 in the world Japanese Naomi Osaka. In the quarterfinals, she beat Chinese Hsieh Su-wei 6-2, 6-2.
Serena and Naomi had four meetings before. Both won two victories, so the semi-final match could be a kind of revenge with a lot of emotions.
When reporters asked Osaka what she thinks about her opponent, she said that Serena always remains Serena and that her appearance on the other half of the court scares the Japanese tennis player.
The upcoming semi-final match will be the 40th Grand Slam for Williams and only the fourth for the 23-year-old Osaka. It will be interesting to see what will be stronger, experience and professionalism or youth and speed.
The last time Williams became the winner of the Australian Open in 2017. Osaka won the championship in 2019. In 2020, the American Sofia Kenin became champion. But in the second round of the current draw, she lost to Estonian Kaia Kanepi and lost her chances for another championship. The strongest tennis player of the Australian Open 2021 will be determined on February 21.