In a quarterfinal match between world no. 2 Simona Halep and the world no. 11 Serena Williams we saw Serena at the top of her game.
Serena who is chasing a slice of history as she looks to equal Margaret Court’s 24 grand slam singles titles was too strong for Halep winning 6-3, 6-3.
Serena took a 2-0 lead after breaking the Romanian in the second game after hitting four winners.
After so many winners in the previous game it was unforced errors that saw Serena immediately give back the break.
Halep would hold for 2-2, followed by a hold for Serena.
In the sixth game, a game that lasted for 6:27, it was Serena that came out on top to break to lead 4-2. From there players would hold easily and Serena claimed the set in 36 minutes.
“I feel like I needed to have a good performance today, especially after my last match against her,” Williams said. “So it was really important to try to play well today. … I knew I couldn’t play worse [than last time]. So that was a good thing.”
In the pre-match analysis on Channel 9 they showed how much more effective Serena has been when chasing shots wide of the sidelines.
This was on display again in this match as Serena chased down balls that last year she would not get a racquet on. Not only was Serena hitting the ball back she was hitting winners or forcing errors from Halep.
“Movement has always been one of my strengths, and so it’s actually more natural for me to move than for me not. So it was just kind of like, Oh, that’s how I used to move. I’m happy that I’m doing that again and that I put it back into my game. I think I was more focused on other things and not focused on something that is actually a strength of mine, has always been a strength of mine, and I had to refocus on that.”
Halep was fighting for her survival in the second set and it took another long game just to hold serve in the opening game.
Halep would break Serena in the second game to jump out to a 2-0 lead only to give up the break in the next game.
Again Halep would break, but again Serena straight back straight away.
Halep was up 3-1 but she would not win another game in the match to see Serena take the win 6-3, 6-3.
Serena Williams advanced to a semifinal match against Naomi Osaka. They last met in a quarterfinal in Toronto where Serena won in straight sets.
Osaka famously defeated Serena in the 2018 US Open final and that followed a round of 128 win over Serena at the 2018 Miami tournament.