Serena Williams advanced to the Australian Open quarterfinals with a tough three-set win over No. 7 seed Aryna Sabalenka and now faces a potentially brutal path to her record-tying 24th major title.
Williams, 39, will have to beat the world’s No. 1, 2 and 3 players in order to tie Australian Margaret Court atop the record books.
Williams, who wore a black T-shirt with “Unstoppable Queen” in capital gold letters to her news conference, moved closer to an eighth Australian Open championship and record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title overall.
I’m happy to get through that one,” Williams said in her post-match interview. “It wasn’t easy. She was teeing off on every shot.”
One bad set nearly derailed Williams’ tournament. She recovered like the savvy veteran she’s proved to be time and time again.
After going down 3-0 in the middle frame, Williams finally slowed Sabalenka’s momentum by breaking her opponent’s serve. It mostly went for naught as Sabalenka returned the favor in the first, third and fifth games of the set, but the two games Williams won became a confidence-builder heading into the third set