Serena Williams beats Simona Halep to reach Australian Open semifinals

Serena Williams stayed on track for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title, advancing to the Australian Open semifinals with a 6-3, 6-3 victory against Simona Halep on Tuesday.

Next up for Williams is Naomi Osaka. Osaka, ranked No. 3 in the world, rode a big first serve to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Hsieh Su-wei, who became the oldest woman at 35 to make her Grand Slam quarterfinal debut.

Williams seeks her 24th Grand Slam singles title, which would tie the all-time record held by Margaret Court. No. 23 came at the Australian Open in 2017, where Williams prevailed in a 6-4, 6-4 final against big sister Venus. She is a seven-time Australian Open champion, with her first title in Melbourne coming in 2003.

At 39, Williams is chasing her 11th Grand Slam singles title since turning 30.

Halep, ranked No. 2 in the world, is a two-time major champion who reached the semifinals at the Australian Open last year, losing to Garbine Muguruza.

Serena Williams plays a backhand in her women’s singles quarterfinals match against Simona Halep during the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 16, 2021.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Serena Williams books Australian Open semis with win vs. Simona Halep

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