Serena Williams rolls into Aussie Open last 16

Serena Williams rolls into Aussie Open last 16

Serena Williams rolls into Aussie Open last 16

Halep says she has "nothing to lose" against the 23-time Grand Slam champion, who is aiming to match Australian Margaret Court's all-time record of major triumphs.

Top seed Simona Halep had the odds stacked against her ahead of the Australian Open but the Romanian proved her title credentials with a breezy 6-2 6-3 third-round win over multiple Grand Slam victor Venus Williams on Saturday.

Since returning to the tour after maternity leave, Williams has yet to win a grand slam as a mother after two near-misses in the finals at Wimbledon and the US Open.

The 37-year-old Williams, chasing a record-extending eighth Melbourne title in the professional era, barely broke sweat on a sunny afternoon at Rod Laver Arena as she racked up 20 winners and beat the 57th-ranked 18-year-old in a breezy 67 minutes. "I liked that. It showed that she wasn't just there to play the match, she was there to win. But she played a great match".

Halep did precisely that in her solid win over Venus, her third in a row over the American. "That really broke my heart", Williams said. "She played unbelievable tennis and hopefully we'll see many more of her talents back in Melbourne".

"In my opinion, to be No. 1 in the world and to be the best player in the world, it's a little bit different", Halep said, per Sandra Harwitt.

Changing pace and direction, using drop shots and with wonderful disguise on her ground strokes, Hsieh stunned Halep and Muguruza in grand slams a year ago.

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After topping Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska in the third round of the Australian Open, Williams said she would be prepared to take on either Halep or her sister, especially considering she owns an 8-1 career mark against the former. But she played a great match. "Young girls, young women, just want to go out there and do their best and want to win".

Halep has struggled for form and fitness since her first-round defeat at the U.S. Open last August and came to Australia on a five-match losing streak and without a coach after long-serving Darren Cahill left for "family reasons".

"At the same time I would love for Venus to win". Williams has sandblasted her way through the first three rounds of this draw, dropping only six games and spending a grand total of 3 hours, 6 minutes on court through the first week of the tournament.

John McEnroe and Chrissie Evert share their thoughts on Serena Williams' easy victory over Dayana Yastremska.

"If she thinks so", Yastremska added about Williams, "then maybe that's true".

"Just needed to keep my errors down".

Further afield if Williams prevails, potentially, are players who have downed Williams at grand slams, Garbine Muguruza, Karolina Pliskova and Naomi Osaka.

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