Serena Williams Powers Past Simona Halep to Set Semifinal Clash Against Naomi Osaka at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/16/2021, 4:40 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 16, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. reacts during her quarter final match against Romania’s Simona Halep REUTERS/Loren Elliott


Serena Williams dominated against Simona Halep to march into the semi-finals at the Australian Open 2021. The American put on a strong display against World No. 2 to deliver an astounding result in the 54th Grand Slam quarterfinal of her glorious career.

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Serena got off to a dominant start in the first set and had the momentum tilting in her favor all along. The tenth seeded player was in her physical and mental best against Halep and broke her serve right in the first game to take matters into her hands. 

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. reacts during her fourth round match against Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Halep conceded the first set in quite disappointing fashion and failed to make up for the two breakpoints that she awarded Serena.

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Both players were strong with their returns, but it was Serena who was better, and her 14 winners in the first set can account for the same. 

It was a baseline dominant game between these two, but Serena Williams displayed her versatility by winning 100% of her net points in the first set, but also committed 13 unforced errors during the process. 

Serena Williams overcame second set jitters to create history

Serena Williams was always the favorite going into the quarterfinal clash against Halep. The Romanian was struggling with her returns in the first set, but took an early lead in the second by breaking Serena’s serve in an emphatic fashion. 

Williams suffered a concentration lapse early in the second set and kept committing unforced errors, which gave Halep momentum to force the game into a deciding set. 

However, it was the champion mentality of Serena that prevailed as she put on a clinical performance in the second set to claim the victory.

Despite committing 33 unforced errors throughout the match, Serena kept a calm demeanor on the court and delivered blistering forehands and unplayable groundstrokes when it mattered.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 16, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during her quarter final match against Romania’s Simona Halep REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Halep looked to pose a challenge in the second set, but the game was already done and dusted. It took Williams just 1 hour and 22 minutes to get the better of the Romanian, who has now lost 10 games against the 23-time Grand Slam champion in her career.

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The 39-year-old broke Halep six times in the match and delivered a total of 24 winners compared to Halep’s nine. This victory also made the American the oldest player to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam since Billie Jean King in 1983!

Serena Williams won the match 6-3, 6-3, to notch her 362nd Majors victory, which puts her at par with the legendary Roger Federer when it comes to overall Grand Slam wins. She will now face Naomi Osaka in what will mark her 40th appearance at a Grand Slam semi-final.

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Arjun Athreya

1825 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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