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Sports Serena Williams; Roger Federer Reach Australia Open Semi Finals

Babalola Oluwatomiwa

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Top seed, Serena Williams cruised past Maria Sharapova 6-4 6-1 on Tuesday to progress to the semi final stage of the 2016 Australian Open.

The 21 Grand Slams champion, who failed to win all four major Slams last year has now taken her victory record over the Russian to 19-2, to book a meeting with fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

The American superstar handed Sharapova her first quarter final defeat in her last eight appearances at Melbourne Park, adding that it was not an easy game.

“It was super intense. She’s an incredibly intense, focused player who was No.1 and who’s won so many Grand Slams for a reason,” Williams said. “You have to come out with a lot of fire and intensity … I think I didn’t start out that way.”

Meanwhile, world number three, Roger Federer, also displaced Thomas Berdych 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-4 to reach the semis of the first major Grand Slam of the calendar year.

Berdych had won their past two meetings at Grand Slams but the most recent of those was four years ago, and Federer remained a solid favourite having won their past four matches.

The 34-year old trailed in the first and third sets but hit back immediately both times and was dominant for the most part on serve.

He made a fast start to the opening-set tie-break and was in control from then on, breaking twice in the second set and making the decisive move at 4-4 in the third.

"I'm very, very happy," said Federer.

"Tomas has caused me a lot of problems over the years, but it's been a pleasure playing against him, he's the type of player who makes you better.

"I thought I played a good match. I was aggressive, had variety in there. It was good conditions to play in."


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