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Sunday, Oct 24th

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serena_williamsWomen's Quarter-final Day at Wimbledon provided more than it promised with the favourites advancing to their pre-anointed place in the final four, but not before being given a royal work out on Tuesday.

Serena Williams kept up her pursuit of re-enacting Steffi Graf's calendar Grand Slam of 1988 by battling past former world no.1 Victoria Azarenka in a thrilling contest on Centre Court. The world no.1, who has been made to work for her wins in recent matches by young Brit Heather Watson and elder sister Venus, was pushed to three sets by Azarenka, before prevailing 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.

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Heather Watson came, she saw and she fell agonizingly short. The 23 year old from the small island of Guernsey produced the best tennis of her young professional career and was two points away from beating arguably the greatest female tennis player of all time, however, world no.1 Serena Williams produced her best tennis when her back was against the wall, digging deep to pull off an incredible 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 in the match of the tournament at Wimbledon so far this year.

At one stage Serena appeared to be cruising into the fourth round, up 6-2, 4-3 against the young Brit, but Watson produced a dramatic comeback, rattling off 6 games in a row to win the second set and pull ahead 3-0 in the third with a double break in hand.

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It was another day of upsets in the women's draw at the French Open with defending champion Maria Sharapova sent packing early on Monday morning by Lucie Safarova, and the day ending with one of the other favourites for the title, Petra Kvitova also getting dumped out of the tournament in the fourth round. However, in between all the blood and thunder that engulfed Roland Garros today, stood strong the powerful figure of arguably the greatest women's tennis player of all-time, Serena Williams, who braved a tremendous challenge from young American Sloane Stephens to prevail in three tough sets.

The day started with Russian diva Maria Sharapova squaring off against Czech left-hander Lucie Safarova, an the no.13 seed proved unlucky for the defending champion as she sneaked away with a tight opening set, 7-3 in a tiebreak, before holding her poise to wrap up the contest in straight sets, 6-4 in the second.

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Defending French Open champion Maria Sharapova appears to be on the mend. After struggling with a cold and a chorus of boos from the fans on the opening day of the tournament, Sharapova cruised into the third round here at Roland Garros, thumping compatriot Vitalia Diatchenko 6-3, 6-1 in an hour and 21 minutes.

Sharapova, who was clearly not at her best in her opening round encounter with Estonia's Kaia Kanepi, looked more at home on the clay in Paris today and made short work of the world no.91, Diatchenko.

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Tennis fans in Paris are known to be a fickle lot and defending champion Maria Sharapova appears to have offended a large number of them as she was booed off court following her 6-2, 6-4 win against Estonian veteran Kaia Kanepi in the opening round of the French Open today.

Sharapova wasn't anywhere near her best today and struggled a bit, particularly in the second set in blustery conditions, before prevailing in straight sets against an opponent who tends to reserve her best for her trips to Wimbledon. Maria raced to a 3-0 lead in the opening set before suffering a slight blip as Kanepi closed in to 3-2. However, the Russian ace rattled off three games in a row to wrap up the first set.

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American superstar Serena Williams reaffirmed her status as a true legend of tennis by winning her 19th career Grand Slam title at the Australian Open today, beating a competitive Maria Sharapova 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the Final.

Serena came into today's Women's Final having won 15 matches in a row against her Russian opponent and it was quite clear right from the onset that Maria had no new game plan up her sleeve to challenge her more illustrious opponent.

Serena broke Maria's serve in the opening game of the match and that advantage was enough for her to take the opening set. A rain delay and a coughing fit did little to dampen Serena's spirit as she broke serve a second time to open up a 5-2 lead, before Sharapova started to show some signs of life in the contest by breaking Serena's serve as she attempted to close out the first set.

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The top two ladies of women's tennis set up a dream showdown at the Australian Open Final as Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova booked their spots in Saturday's finale at Melbourne Park with routine wins in their respective semi-final encounters today.

Both women were taking on compatriots, with Sharapova going up against fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova in the first semi. Neither player was at their best as they produced 55 unforced errors between them, but Sharapova's penchant for being able to play the big points better made all the difference as she broke Makarova four times to record a 6-3, 6-2 win.

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