Williams to take on Lucic-Baroni in Australian Open semi-finals

Serena Williams cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 win over ninth seed Johanna Konta on Wednesday to set up a semi-final clash with Mirjana Lucic-Baroni at the Australian Open.

Williams and Konta had never met prior to this, but for Williams, it takes her one step closer to winning her seventh Australian Open title.

Williams looked in sensational form right from the get-go and raced out to a 4-1 lead, during which she broke Konta in the fourth game.

The second seed continued to dominate and clinched the first set by breaking Konta once again in the eighth game.

Knowing that her hopes of remaining in the Australian Open rested on winning the second set, Konta came out firing on all cylinders and broke Williams in the third game en route to claiming a 3-1 lead.

But, she was unable to keep Williams at bay for long enough and the former world number one came charging back to level the score at 3-3 after breaking Konta in the sixth game.

With another break in the eighth game, Williams did not look back from that point as she went on to win the match in an hour and 15 minutes.

Earlier in the day, Lucic-Baroni created a major upset when she stunned fifth seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to book her spot in the Australian Open semi-finals.

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This is the first time that Lucic-Baroni has reached the semi-final of the Australian Open and the first time she has advanced to the last four of a grand slam competition since she did so at Wimbledon back in 1999.

Pliskova looked in good form early on as she raced out to a 3-1 lead, breaking Lucic-Baroni in the process.

But, Lucic-Baroni came roaring back and broke Pliskova in the sixth game to make it 3-3. She then went on to break her opponent once more in the 10th game to wrap up the first set.

Lucic-Baroni and Pliskova traded breaks numerous times in the second set until Pliskova found herself with a slim 4-3 lead. She didn’t look back from that point and broke Lucic-Baroni for the fourth time in the ninth game to bring herself back into contention.

It was a similar story at the start of the third set as the duo broke each other for the first three games. Even though Pliskova went on to break Lucic-Baroni in the sixth game to make it 3-3, but she was unable to stop the 34-year-old from breaking her in the ninth game and winning the match.

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