Serena Williams pulled off a victory over second-seeded Simona Halep during the quarterfinals of the 2021 Australian Open. Williams put together a dominating performance on Tuesday by holding a significant advantage in aces, winners and percentage of points won on the first serve.
"I definitely think this is the best match I've played this tournament for sure," Williams said after the match.
"Obviously I had to, going up against the No. 2 in the world. I knew I had to do better and that's what I did. I've been watching her and I'm sure she's been watching me."
Today's win sets up a highly anticipated showdown between Williams and Naomi Osaka. Osaka sits at the number three spot in the Women's Tennis Association's most recent rankings. She is coming off two consecutive victories against Garbine Muguruza of Venezuela and Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Tapei. Against Williams, Osaka is one of the few tour players with a winning record. However, both of Osaka's wins against Williams came in 2018. Williams won the most recent match against Osaka in 2019.
If Williams is able to emerge victoriously, she would be one step closer to tying Margaret Court's record for all-time grand slam titles. Court holds the record with 26 grand slam titles and Williams follows behind with 24.
"I feel like this is such a good opportunity for me just to keep doing my best," Williams said.
"It's the first Grand Slam of the year for me. I had an incredibly long, arduous offseason. And so, I'm honestly happy with every win I get."
The match is set to take place on Wednesday. The winner will advance to the Australian Open finals on Thursday
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