MELBOURNE, Australia — Serena Williams attacked Maria Sharapova’s strength, and it helped extend her complete domination of their rivalry, earning the six-time Australian Open champion a place in the semifinals.
Top-ranked Williams beat Sharapova 6-4, 6-1 in the quarterfinals Tuesday, her 18th consecutive victory against the Russian tennis player and 19th in 21 career meetings back to 2004.
“It was super intense,” Williams said. Sharapova is “an incredibly intense, focused player who was No. 1 and has won so many Grand Slams for a reason.
“You have to come out with a lot of fire and intensity.”
Each of the six previous times Williams has won a quarterfinal at Melbourne Park, she has won the title at the season-opening Grand Slam tournament.
Up next for her is fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat No. 10 Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-3 to reach a Grand Slam semifinal for the fifth time. She has never won a major.
Williams had medical treatment between sets, and again in the second during a changeover, but it wasn’t clear what the problem was. She didn’t comment on it in her on-court interview.
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