Serena to the quarter after the Sabalenka take a look at from Reuters

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© Reuters. Australian Open

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MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Serena Williams (NYSE 🙂 stormed into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Sunday with a 6: 4: 2: 6: 6: 4 win against Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.

The match was a big test for Williams, who faced one of the few players on the women’s tour who was able to hit the baseline.

“I’m glad I can get through this,” Williams said in a court interview. “It wasn’t easy and I knew it wouldn’t be easy. She hit every shot.

“Even the games I lost were very close, one shot here and one shot there, and I just felt like, ‘Serena, you have this, you just have to go on.'”

The players went head to toe in an even first set until Williams lunged late to break Sabalenka for the first time and take a 1-0 lead.

However, roles were reversed at the start of the second game when Sabalenka Williams broke in her first two service games.

The American, aiming for a record-breaking 24th Grand Slam title, fought his way back but was powerless in the face of Sabalenka’s attack when the seventh seed took another 4-1 lead before sending the match into a decision.

“I lost the second set, but the games were so close I just tried to stay there,” added Williams.

With the pressure in the third, it was Sabalenka who blinked first and made several mistakes to give Williams a 3-1 lead.

The Belarusian broke back and leveled the set 4-4, but the pressure finally showed when Sabalenka served to stay 5-4 in the match.

Sabalenka made a double fault to give Williams a 15-30 lead and scored a forehand to pass her two match points. The match was cashed in with a long forehand.

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