'Don't cry': Serena overwhelms, consoles Australian Open foe

Serena Williams
Serena Williams missed last year's Australian Open but won the competition twice in the previous three years
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20 January, 2019

Halep will now play Willams' sister Serena, after she beat Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska earlier on Saturday.

The 37-year-old, who is in the hunt for her first Grand Slam since having a baby, comforted the youngster at the net, telling her: "You did unbelievable, you're gonna make it, don't cry".

'I feel like all of women's - not only tennis but sport really owes everything to Billie Jean King, ' the 37-year-old said on court after a 6-2 6-1 win in 67 minutes.

Sixteenth-seed Williams, whose seven title wins Down Under is an open era record, later told press how the tears of Yastremska "broke her heart".

The 37-year-old continued her impressive passage through the draw with an emphatic 6-2 6-1 victory over the 18-year-old Ukrainian, who was not born when Williams won her first Grand Slam singles title in 1999.

Men's matchups Monday with a quarterfinal berth at stake will be: No. 1 Novak Djokovic against No. 15 Daniil Medvedev; No. 4 Alexander Zverev against 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic; 2014 U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori against No. 23 Pablo Carreno-Busta; and No. 11 Borna Coric against No. 28 Lucas Pouille, who eliminated 19-year-old Australian wild-card entry Alexei Popyrin 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-7 (10), 4-6, 6-3.

Serena Williams marched into the Australian Open last 16 Saturday and warned she was still improving after taking time out to console the latest victim of her quest for a record-equalling 24th major.

"As she was walking towards the net, I could tell she was quite upset", Williams said. "I liked that. It showed that she wasn't just there to play the match, she was there to win".

She was listless in her first two matches, complaining she was not at her best and grinding out three-set wins.

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Halep did precisely that in her solid win over Venus, her third in a row over the American. It's always a challenge to play the Williams sisters, ' Halep said afterwards.

'What can I do to help these young players coming up? "It's good to see that attitude", she added.

Serena Williams of the United States (L) speaks with Ukraine´s Dayana Yastremska after winning their women´s singles match on day six of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 19, 2019.

"It's going to be [a] huge challenge for me", Halep said.

King is renowned as much for her activism perhaps even more than her ability on the court and Williams expressed her plans to continue her work.

"Just needed to keep my errors down. I am ready to face it".

"I honestly would love to face the world No. 1", said Williams. When I was young I played against so many people and everyone I faced was intimidating and not easy. "I will not super think about this because there is nothing to think, just go there and play natural and with confidence".

What separates Williams from other top players?


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