Cyprus Mail
Australian Open

Serena edges top seed Halep to reach quarters

Serena Williams outlined why she is the favourite to win the Australian Open with a 6-1 4-6 6-4 win over top seed Simona Halep in a high-quality last-16 match

Serena Williams staved off a spectacular fightback from world number one Simona Halep to win 6-1 4-6 6-4 and reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Monday.

Halep broke Williams’ serve in the first game but that was the only one she managed for the rest of the opening set as the 23-time Grand Slam champion bulldozed her way through the set in 20 minutes, serving it out with an ace.

French Open champion Halep fought back in the second set to level the match after breaking Williams a second time before the seven-time Australian Open champion got the crucial break in the seventh game of the decider and sealed the match in an hour and 47 minutes.

For a place in the semi-finals, Williams will meet Czech seventh seed Karolina Pliskova, who thrashed twice Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza 6-3 6-1 earlier on Monday.

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