Williams storms into semi-finals with win over Halep

Williams storms into semi-finals with win over Halep

Serena Williams reached her 40th Grand Slam semi-final as she dismissed Simona Halep in emphatic fashion in their Australian Open quarter-final.

It was a hugely impressive performance from the American, who is in hot pursuit of a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title.

The 39-year-old takes on yet another superstar opponent in the last four at Melbourne Park as she faces 2019 champion Naomi Osaka.

Halep, who reached the semi-finals last year and was losing finalist in 2018, threw everything at her opponent with an attacking game plan from the outset, but never quite managed to dictate.

Serena, who is seeded 10th at the tournament this year, has been handed an exceptionally tough draw but has risen to every challenge with real confidence.

No point could have been more intimidating for Halep, the number two seed, than early in the opening set when her opponent crushed a quite brilliant backhand winner which sent her box wild.

Serena’s last-four clash with Osaka had been picked out by many as a potential classic, and so it could prove on Thursday.

For the 10th seed, her demolition of Halep’s ground game again demonstrated an approach that Eurosport expert Annabel Croft noted has “looked different” to other Grand Slams since her return.

Williams, who came up with an inspired 24 winners in the match, has not won a major since her seventh Australian Open triumph in 2017.

Osaka, who will prove a huge test once more for the American, reached the semi-finals with a straightforward 6-2 6-2 win over Hsieh Su-wei on Rod Laver Arena in one hour and eight minutes.