The 'dream' ticket of an Australian Open semi-final between the two Williams sisters has been thwarted at the quarter-final stages. Serena fulfilled her side of the bargain but sadly for her, Venus could not quite overcome the teenager Madison Keys in the other quarter-final played today.
Number one seed Serena suffered few of the problems that have seemingly plagued her in earlier matches, as she crushed the number eleven seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-2 6-2. The Slovak simply had no answers as Serena dominated the match and blasted her way through to the last-four, serving 15 aces compared to her opponent's one and producing 31 winners in a battering display of power #Tennis. There was to be no repeat final for the lower seeded player as she fell after little more than one hour's play, despite Serena battling the symptoms of a cold. It will be the Williams sister's 26th major semi-final appearance in a glittering career to this point.
Her elder sister Venus faced an altogether different proposition against the rising star of American female tennis, 19-year-old Keys. Looking for her very first Grand Slam semi-final place and up against the experience of the former world number one, not to mention her five Wimbledon titles, the odds seemed slightly in favour of 34-year-old Venus. However, the teenager demonstrated her continuing maturity to outlast the 'other' Williams sister, after six minutes short of two hours play. Keys took the first set 6-3, but the game seemed to be going Venus' way when she squared things up by taking the second set 6-4. The Lindsay Davenport-coached player found renewed determination though to clinch the match in the deciding set, 6-4 in her favour.
The women's semi-finals are confirmed as being all-American and all-Russian affairs:
Serena Williams v Madison Keys
Ekaterina Makarova v Maria Sharapova
The odds will be heavily in favour of the two top seeds meeting in what would be a mouth-watering proposition, although given the form that Keys has been showing these last two weeks, she may still have one more trick up her sleeve. Serena though will be looking to avenge her sister's defeat and claim her first Australian Open title since 2010. For Sharapova, the wait for another title in Australia goes back even further, as she took her only title there in 2008. #Celebrities