Ruthless Serena dispatches Jo Konta in straight sets

Serena Williams weathered a brief second-set rally from Brit Jo Konta to progress to the semi-final stage of the Australian Open.

Williams, 35, dominated a 35-minute opening stanza claiming two breaks of serve in a demonstration of excellence that threatened to overwhelm the Brit.

Yet, there was a hint of a shift in momentum early in the second when Konta secured a break to take a two-game lead as Williams’ serve wavered.

However, 22-time Grand Slam winner Williams used all her nous to break the Brit twice and progress to the semi-final stage.

It was a statement performance from Williams, who hit 25 winners and 10 aces on her way to victory in one hour and 15 minutes.

“I missed a lot today, I got a little frustrated, then I told myself ‘Serena, stop complaining don’t be a Baby-rena out on court there’,” she said.

“I admit I complain a lot… but I said to myself, ‘just have fun and try to enjoy the moment’ and I did.”

Williams will face 34-year-old Mirjana Lucic-Baroni next as she seeks a seventh Australian Open crown.

“It’s really amazing, 30 is the new 10,” Serena added. “I’m so proud of Mirjana, she has been playing so well.

“We played over a decade ago, nearly two decades ago. She’s been playing two decades. No matter what happens, someone 34 or older will be in the final, so that’s great.”

Williams would usurp Angelique Kerber at the top of the world rankings were she to win her 23rd Grand Slam.

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