Seven-time champion Serena Williams was in top form when she won the Australian Open against Simona Halep to start a blockbuster semi-final against Naomi Osaka

The tenth Williams prevailed 6: 3, 6: 3 against the number two in the world in the quarter-finals on Tuesday evening in the Rod Laver Arena

With the win, Williams is returning to the last four at Melbourne Park for the first time since her last major individual triumph at the 2017 Australian Open

Thursday’s semi-final against Osaka promises to be a tempting encounter The third Japanese and 2019 winner will advance thanks to a comfortable 6-2, 6-2 win over Hsieh Su-Wei

“I definitely think this is the best game I’ve played in the tournament,” Williams said in her interview on the court

“When I went up against world number two, I knew I had to do better and I did, I’m excited”

Williams, who did a record breaking 24 Watched the big individual championship, said she monitored Osaka’s progress throughout the tournament

“I think this is a great opportunity for me to do my best as the first Grand Slam [tournament] of the year

“I’ve had an incredibly long, grueling off-season for me, so honestly I’m really happy with every win I get”

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Williams and Halep played against each other for the first time since the Romanian’s victory in the 2019 Wimbledon final

On Tuesday evening, both players generated breathtaking power in the first set with their basic strokes from the baseline

Perhaps best illustrated in game two, when Williams clubbed a backhand on the cross court to break a breakpoint for Halep’s service

Halep long went back with a forehand to drop the service and pursue 0-2, but it broke back immediately and by the start of the fifth game the first set was back on the service

With a semi-final on the line, the tension of the game was plain to see More than once, Williams yelled “Come on!” as she tried to regain control of the competition

She was able to do so when she broke Halep a second time before holding the serve to build a 5-2 lead

Apart from the break, Williams had rarely been threatened by Halep on her serve. She held onto love in the ninth game and took the first set in 36 minutes

Williams may have dictated terms in the first sentence, but it was a different story in the second sentence

She announced her only double fault in the game and made three casual mistakes in her opening game to give Halep a break and a 2-0 advantage

Halep failed to consolidate the break in the next game, but it broke Williams again in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead and get one step closer to the match

Her return to serve in the fifth game of the set put Halep on her hindfoot, and she broke back when her opponent sent a forehand into the net

After holding serve to bring the set to 3-3, Williams had several breakpoints in the following game before finally regaining control

Another break in the halep serve at 5: 3 rounded off Williams’ performance and brought her safely to the semifinals of the Australian Open for the ninth time in her brilliant career

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World news – AU – Williams beats Halep to the blockbuster Australian Open Semi set up against Osaka