Williams: It’s a remarkable story

Serena Williams will face Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the final four at the Australian Open, nearly 20 years after they last faced each other.

The veterans showed that they can still mix it with the youth on Wednesday, as the 35-year-old Williams eased past Johanna Konta to book a date in the semis against 34-year-old Lucic-Baroni.

Interestingly, the last time the pair met was in the second round of Wimbledon in 1998, where they were both on debut. A 16-year-old Williams would win in straight sets that day.

The pair would have undoubtedly met again much sooner, but Lucic-Baroni would be plagued with personal problems later in her career, which saw her spend much of her prime off the court.

"It was in '98, I remember," quipped the American.

"It was on Centre Court. That's all I remember. I remember winning. I was so excited because I was so young. She obviously was super young, too.

"Honestly, we have totally different games now, the both of us. We both have gone through a lot. We both have survived, and here we are, which I think is a really remarkable story."

In terms of her quarter-final against Konta, Williams admitted her usually powerful first serve was off the boil and she was forced to find other ways to defeat the Brit.

"My first serve wasn't really great, but I've really been working on my second serve," confirmed the world number two.

"Hasn't been great all tournament, so I've been kind of relying on my second serve. I've been relying on my groundstrokes, forehand, backhand. My returns have really picked up.

"All around, I feel like she's a great all-around player. So I feel like I had to be on it all around today."

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