For the first time this week Serena Williams was forced to a third set by world number seven Aryna Sabalenka but once again the American showed her good form to come through in style against the Belarusian.
It was a close match throughout and in the opening nine games there wasn’t much to separate the two players as they both settled quite nicely into proceedings on Rod Laver Arena. It was in the tenth game when Serena put her foot on the acceleration and began to press more on Sabalenka’s serve. A great return on her second set point set up the point for the former champion landing a stunning forehand at the 22 year olds feet to seal the opening set 6-4.
Serena did slip down an early break of serve trailing 1-3 in the early exchanges and struggled to find a way back into the set with Sabalenka striking the ball so cleaning taking a 5-1 lead. Serena did her bit holding for 2-5 but a wayward forehand from the American taking us to three sets.
The third set pretty much followed the theme of the first, Serena opened with a lovely hold constructing some winners at the net and leading 5-4 the scoreboard pressure and wild hitting came off the racket of the 22 year old. Sabalenka found herself down 15-40 and a forehand return at the feet of the Belarusian proved too much sending the ball long and Serena clinching her 91st singles win at the Australian Open.
The win means that Serena Williams has now equalled the record of Chris Evert in the Open Era of quarter finals appearances at 54. Just a reminder:
13th Australian Open Quarter Final
54th Grand Slam Quarter Final
91st Australian Open Singles Win
361 Grand Slam Singles Wins
850th career win
176th Top 10 win