Venus Williams continued her impressive run at the Australian Open on Tuesday as she downed 24th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 7-6 (3) to advance to the semi-finals for the first time in 14 years.
Pavlyuchenkova stunned numerous seeds, including 11th seed Elina Svitolina in the third round and eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in the fourth round on her way to the quarters, but she could not add 13th seed Williams to that list.
Pavlyuchenkova took a 2-1 lead early on after breaking the 36-year old in the third game, but Williams broke back as the duo stayed neck and neck.
They traded breaks again in the seventh and eighth game, but the American went on to claim a vital break in the 10th game, which handed her the first set.
It was a very similar story in the second set as the pair broke each other on two separate occasions before holding serve for the last four games in the set.
A tie break was needed to separate them. Pavlyuchenkova took an early lead in the tie break, but Williams fought back to win it 7-3 to seal the second set and match.
Williams will now face CoCo Vandeweghe in the semi-finals after she stunned seventh seed Garbine Muguruza 6-4, 6-0.
The pair began by holding serve for the first six games, but Vandeweghe snapped that trend by breaking Muguruza in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. She did not look back from that point on and went on to clinch the first set.
It was much smoother sailing for the American in the second set as she broke Muguruza right off the bat before proceeding to do so twice more as she raced to victory in just an hour and 23 minutes.
The match will be the first Grand Slam semifinal of Vandeweghe’s career.