Australian Open

Serena storms into quarters

2013-01-21 11:47
Serena Williams (AFP)

Melbourne - Five-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams blasted into the quarter-finals on Monday, sweeping aside Russian 14th seed Maria Kirilenko in straight sets.

The third seed stormed through 6-2, 6-0 and will play fellow American Sloane Stephens for a place in the semi-finals, where she could potentially face defending champion Victoria Azarenka.

In winning, Williams made her 35th Grand Slam quarter-final as she seeks to add to her 15 major titles.

"I played really well. I didn't expect to play so well. I was like 'wow'," she said. "I saw that I had 95 percent first serves in the first set and thought, 'Who is this girl?', because I don't usually do that."

The players had met five times before and Williams had won all the encounters, which didn't bode well for the Russian.

Kirilenko had three break points in Williams' opening service game but she blew her chance for an early advantage and she was pushed hard in the next, but held to keep the tie at level-pegging.

In windy conditions on Rod Laver Arena, the third seed pounced for the break in the fourth game, pressuring Kirilenko with deep shots to the baseline that saw the Russian put a backhand wide to lose control of the set.

Williams was routinely serving at almost 200km/h, giving Kirilenko little chance, while proving hugely effective at the net.

She broke again to go 5-2 ahead and completed the first set rout in 29 minutes.

In a lopsided contest, Williams kept the pressure on and broke for a 2-0 lead in the second and went 4-0 in front with a powerful backhand down the line. She broke once more and is now on a 20 match win streak.

Williams, who has an eye on the first calendar-year Grand Slam since 1988, last won the Australian Open in 2010.

Results from day eight of the Australian Open on Monday:

Women's singles

Fourth round


Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) bt Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x10) 6-2, 2-6, 7-5
Victoria Azarenka (BLR x1) bt Elena Vesnina (RUS) 6-1, 6-1
Sloane Stephens (USA x29) bt Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) 6-1, 3-6, 7-5
Serena Williams (USA x3) bt Maria Kirilenko (RUS x14) 6-2, 6-0

Men's singles

Fourth round


Jeremy Chardy (FRA) bt Andreas Seppi (ITA x21) 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x7) bt Richard Gasquet (FRA x9) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
Andy Murray (GBR x3) bt Gilles Simon (FRA x14) 6-3, 6-1, 6-3

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