Serena Williams sweeps past Johanna Konta to reach semifinals

Serena Williams

MELBOURNE, Jan 25: Serena Williams remained on course for her 23rd grand slam title by quelling the challenge of in-form British Number One Johanna Konta 6-2 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the eighth time on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old American served up 10 aces and thumped 25 winners over 75 minutes on Rod Laver Arena to join sister Venus in the last four, where she will play 34-year-old Croatian Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

Ninth seed Konta, who reached the semifinals here last year and won the Sydney warm-up tournament, managed a single break in the second set but was unable to cope with the power of the world number two.

Defeat means Britain has no players left in either singles tournament in Melbourne.

Johana konta

“Johanna Konta has been playing so well, I was in the locker room watching her clean up her matches, she is a future champion here for sure, so I am pleased to get through this,” Williams said in the on-court interview.

“I got a little frustrated with my serve, but I told myself ‘don’t get Babyrena’ and focused on enjoying myself out here. Today I felt I can do this, it is such a great opportunity for me.”

Williams is seeking her seventh Melbourne Park title, which would assure her of a return to world number one in place of Angelique Kerber.

“It is really happening for the mid-thirties,” Williams said. “Mirjana – it is so good to see her back out and inspiring to see her in the semi-finals. Whatever happens there will be someone in the final in their mid-thirties.”THE TELEGRAPH