The 2016 Australian Open keeps rolling to its conclusion, and Serena Williams is still on track to claim her seventh Australian Open title, her 22nd Grad Slam title to tie Steffi Graf overall, and start a run at a Golden Slam.
But standing in the way in the quarterfinal round was a woman she’d beaten 17 straight times in fifth seeded Maria Sharapova of Russia. The last time she’d lost to Sharapova was in 2004, and since then it’s been all Serena all the time
This one started out with Serena getting off to a slow start and dropping her initial service game to get into an 0-2 hole and get her haters around the wold salivating. But she eventually got it to 4-4 and after a tense four deuce game held to take the lead and eventually break Sharapova to take the first set.
Serena then kicked it into A+ level and rolled to a 4-0 lead before Sharapova broke the five game un by holding serve. But Serena once again held her serve and broke Sharapova to win the match in straight sets 6-4, 6-1. It was the 18th straight win for Little Sis and the seventh straight time in their non rivalry she’d beaten Sharapova in straight sets.
Next up in the semis for Serena is fourth seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland who sent #10 seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain to the sidelines in straight sets 6-1, 6-3.
If she handles her semifinal business, these are the potential opponents who could be standing between her and her seventh Australian Open title.
That half of the quarterfinal bracket has #14 seeded Victoria Azarenka facing off against #7 seeded German Angelique Kerber, and giant killers Johanna Konta of Great Britain and qualifier Zhang Shuhai of China in the other quarterfinal.
The winners will face off in the semis to determine who that finalist will be.
TransGriot Update: The other semi will be Angelique Kerber and Johanna Konta.