Williams beats Sharapova once again

Serena Williams didn't give anything away in a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Maria Sharapova in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

The fifth-seeded Sharapova's dreadful run against Williams extended to 18 consecutive losses as the world number one claimed the win in 91 minutes.

Williams took a lot of punches from the challenger in the early rounds, but she showed why she's the champion by absorbing the pressure before landing the knockout blow.

A positive looking Sharapova was the quickest out of the blocks, breaking Williams in the opening game with the American looking somewhat sluggish early on.

Williams let out a roar when an ace saw her get on the board in the third game, and she soon had her break back when a double fault from Sharapova handed her an opening.

The 34-year-old Williams was starting to get in her groove, and Sharapova had to fight hard to come from 0-40 down in the eighth game to retain parity. However, Williams got the second break two games later, a lucky net chord tilting the game in her favour before she closed out a 14-point game to take the set 6-4 in 55 minutes.

Williams called for the trainer after the first set, and with no obvious injury the suggestion was that she was feeling unwell. Whatever the problem may have been, it didn't seem to slow her down as she held serve to love to start the second set.

And then the floodgates opened.

Sharapova tried to move Williams around the court in a test of her fitness, but the top seed answered in emphatic fashion by grabbing a break in the second game.

A double fault in Sharapova's next service game handed Williams a break point opportunity which she would not turn down. Having won seven games on the trot the match was all but Williams'.

To Sharapova's great credit she did not go down quietly. The Russian fought to the very end and had two break back chances as Williams served for the match. There would be no denying the top seed though as she wrapped up the match 6-4, 6-1.

Sharapova will be left ruing letting a good start slip away from her, while Williams' attentions turn to a semi-final match-up with fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

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