Serena topples top seed Halep as Djokovic battles into quarters

Serena topples top seed Halep as Djokovic battles into quarters

Svitolina was a quarter-finalist at Melbourne Park previous year and has set her sights high after her breakthrough in winning the WTA Finals Singapore, targeting a Grand Slam win and world number one.

On the women's side, all eyes will be on Serena Williams as she aims for Grand Slam number 24.

Serena Williams will face Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinal round of the 2019 Australian Open on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

"I think overall I'm hanging in there", Williams told reporters.

"It was a really intense match, with some incredible points".

Fourth seed Naomi Osaka, meanwhile, was composed as she beat crafty Latvian Anastasija Sevastova, emerging from an error-strewn first to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Playing in just her eighth tournament since becoming a mother, Williams conceded she was still finding her way back to her best. I think emotionally too because it's a big change in anyone's life to have a baby and you need to get used to a new life, and it took a bit of time.

"I just tried to stay composed and it worked out well for me today", said cool 16th seed Raonic, who will now face Frenchman Lucas Pouille after he battled past Croat Borna Coric in four tough sets.

Another major would match Margaret Court's tally and an intensely-focused Williams had not dropped a set in three matches before meeting Halep.

Halep broke again to take a set off Williams, celebrating with a fired-up double fist pump.

And physically, she had to show her A-game because there were a lot of very long rallies. The Romanian led 3-2 before Williams tied it at 3-3.

But the American broke back in the next, racing to the net for an overhead smash when one of her powerfully hit returns flew high off Halep's racquet.

Williams' coach Patrick Mouratoglou echoed Clijster's assessment on the 37-year-old's fitness, admitting she wasn't physically ready to win a major last year.

Halep went up 1-0 in the first set but Williams came roaring back with six consecutive points.

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