Melbourne - Serena Williams has never lost
a semi-final at the Australian Open and has emerged a winner each time she has
faced Agnieszka Radwanska, in worrying signs for the Pole ahead of their clash
The pair face-off on Rod Laver Arena for a
place in the final of the year's opening Grand Slam, with either Germany's
Angelique Kerber or British surprise package Johanna Konta awaiting whoever
The imposing American top seed appears
invincible after crushing long-time rival Maria Sharapova in the quarter-finals
as she steps up her quest to match Steffi Graf's Open-era Grand Slam record of
Her three major wins last year, at the
Australian and French Opens and Wimbledon, left her only one short on 21. But
Williams, a six-time winner at Melbourne Park, is not getting ahead of herself.
"Nothing's guaranteed in sports. I
still have to win two matches against potentially two extremely tough
opponents," she said.
Despite the overwhelming odds in Williams'
favour, fourth seed Radwanska is upbeat after a 13-match winning streak,
including lifting the Shenzhen Open trophy this month.
"I think it's good, especially that I
did semi-finals here and I won the tournament (Shenzhen) before," she said
of her form. "Couldn't be better so far."
But the popular 26-year-old, who rarely
shows emotion on court, added: "Hopefully I can play my best tennis or
I'll be in trouble."
Williams has played Radwanska played eight
times since 2008, with the 34-year-old world number one winning the lot.
Another ominous fact facing the Pole is
that every time Williams has got past the quarter-finals in Melbourne, she has
gone on to win the tournament.
"It will be a good match," said
Williams, the defending champion.
"She's been playing really well
towards the end of the year, and already this year she's been very consistent.
She presents a completely different game, an extremely exciting game.
"So I think it will be a long match
and it will be a good match to see where I am."
The two are friends off court and the
American said if Radwanska won, she would wish her well.
"I know Aga really well. She's a really
nice girl. We always get along," she said.
"Whoever wins, we both deserve to be
in the final. If she wins, I'll be very happy for her. I'm sure she'll feel the
The Pole said the experience she gained
from making the Wimbledon final in 2012, along with three other major semis,
would be crucial.
"Experience is very important in
tennis. I'm happy to have that and I'll be ready for the semi," she said.
The winner will face Kerber or Konta in
Saturday's final - uncharted territory for both players.
Kerber upset two-time champion Victoria
Azarenka to make the last four and the renowned fighter will be a handful for
Konta, the first British woman in a Grand Slam semi for 33 years.
The German's confidence is high after
encouragement from compatriot Steffi Graf to believe in herself as she looks to
reach a major final for the first time.
"I'll be going out there to win the
match, to be aggressive, take my first chances I can get," she said.
Kerber is yet to play Konta, the British
world number 47 who failed to get through qualifying last year but has since
risen 100 places in the rankings.
"She's an amazing competitor. She's
showed time and time again over the last numerous years," Konta said of
Kerber, as she prepares for the biggest match of her career.
"I'm going to go out there, really
enjoy it and enjoy the battle and hopefully, play a good level and give the
crowd a good match."