In a quarter-final clash at Melbourne, Serena Williams ended Johanna Konta’s hopes of advancing to the finals of the Australian Open with a blistering straight sets victory on Wednesday.
Neither player had lost a set heading into the quarter-final, with both largely impressing in their earlier matches, but someone had to lose for the other to advance.
Konta arrived in Melbourne having won her second WTA title in Sydney, and last Monday’s victory over Makarova extended her winning streak to nine matches and 18 sets in a row. But the clash with her idol has brought the run to an end.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion, a six-time winner of the Australian Open title, was below her best in the fourth-round match against Barbora Strycova but raised her game severely for the test of the British No. 1.
Konta departs, unable to match her run to the semi-final at Melbourne Park 12 months ago, but still with her head held high.
The World No. 9, who played Williams for the first time ever, has beaten every player in the top 10, apart from Angelique Kerber, in the past 18 months; but the 25-year-old struggled to match the incredible power shown by a woman 10 years her senior, losing 6-2 6-3.
“She’s definitely a future champion here for sure,” Serena said of Konta after the game
As Serena Williams continues in her bid to make history with another grand slam success that would take her past Steffi Graf’s record of 22 majors, she will go on to face Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the semi-final of the championship, after the world No. 79 stunned Karolina Pliskova on Wednesday.
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