The Worlds Favourite Playground

Friday, Sep 25th

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World no.1 Serena Williams powered her way into her seventh Australian Open Final, brushing aside the challenge of the no.4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets, 6-0, 6-4.

Williams was in no mood to hang around again today and the faster conditions under the closed roof only augmented her game as she raced through the opening set in a little over 20 minutes, 6-0. It wasn't that Radwanska played poorly, in fact she made just 3 unforced errors all set, it was that Serena was just that much better.

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World no.1 Serena Williams stayed on course for a record equaling 22nd Grand Slam title, crushing long term rival Maria Sharapova in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the Australian Open semi-finals. Joining her in the final of the year's first Grand Slam is the no.4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, a 6-1, 6-3 winner herself against 10th seed Carla Suarez Navarro.

Radwanska opened proceedings on Rod Laver Arena this morning, and raced to a 4-0 lead as the Spaniard, a notoriously slow starter, struggled to compete with the always consistent Pole early on. Radwanska was done with the first set in a hurry, taking it 6-1.

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It was the quarter-final match-up that stood out when the women's draw was made a week back, and top seed Serena Williams and former champion Maria Sharapova have each lived up to their end of the bargain, cementing their spot in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

In a rematch of last year's final, won by defending champion Serena Williams, the American blasé as ever declared after her fourth round triumph today that she had no idea who her quarter-final opponent might be as she just doesn't look that far ahead into the draw when it is made.

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Top seed and defending champion Serena Williams and the woman she has made a habit of beating over the last decade, Maria Sharapova, stayed on course for a quarter-final showdown at the Australian Open by registering matching wins in the second round at Melbourne today.

Sharapova opened proceedings on Rod Laver Arena and the 5th seed wasted little time in easing past Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, 6-2. 6-1. It wasn't the perfect performance from Maria, who made a rather high 24 unforced errors over the course of just 15 games, but she still had more than enough in the locker to not break much of a sweat under the closed roof.

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It was a mixed bag for fans of British tennis on Day 2 of the Australian Open with the two players advancing to the round of 64 and another couple crashing out of the tournament at the first hurdle.

After a disappointing opening day saw Heather Watson and Kyle Edmund get knocked out of the Australian Open, all eyes were on British no.1s Andy Murray and Johanna Konta as they opened their campaigns against rather varied pedigree opponents.

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On paper Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams face challenging first round matches when they begin their respective Australian Open title defences next week in Melbourne with the Serb drawing South Korean teenager Hyeon Chung, while Serena opens her campaign against the highest ranked unseeded player in the women's draw, world no.35 Camila Giorgi of Italy.

Given Djokovic's form so far this season, he shouldn't really be challenged by any of his early opponents, and the odds-on-favourite for the title faces potential matches against Benoit Paire and Kei Nishikori before a possible semi-final showdown with Roger Federer.

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Top seed Venus Williams' trip to Auckland this year to defend her ASB Classic title has been cut short this summer with the veteran American crashing out in the first round to a Russian teenager.

Venus, champion here 12 months ago, contributed to her own demise by making a massive 73 unforced errors over the course of the contest, going down 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3 to 18 year old Daria Kasatkina. Kasatkina is ranked 75th in the world and was awarded a wildcard into the tournament.

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