Johanna Konta and Serena Williams had an intriguing matchup in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, which would be their first ever meeting in history. This match was tipped to be the tightest of all the quarterfinals but failed to live up to the hype it received as Williams strolled to a straight sets victory in just 75 minutes. Williams would go against surprise semifinalist Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the semifinals after the Croatian pulled off a major upset against Karolina Pliskova in her quarterfinal, and Williams would have to defeat her before having a chance to clinch her long-awaited 23rd grand slam title.
Williams steals the first set
Both players knew that they have to get off to a fast start to the match as it was tipped to be a tight match and neither would want to fall behind in the early stages of the match. After an exchange of comfortable service holds to start the match with, it was the underdog who almost made the first breakthrough in the third game as Konta earned a break point with some great returns.
The Brit lost the break point opportunity with a backhand unforced error, with Williams maintaining her composure to hold her service game. Konta would rue the missed opportunity as she was broken immediately in the following game after Williams’ deep groundstrokes managed to trouble Konta to take the early lead. Konta had some problems with her return as Williams’ serve proved to be just too much for her, allowing her to consolidate the break of service comfortably to have a 4-1 lead.
Konta stopped the rout when she finally won a game by holding her serve as she hit some strong serves which managed to overpower Williams. Despite going up 40-15 at 2-5 while serving to stay in the set, Konta eventually crumbled to the pressure and lost the set with a scoreline of 6-2 after 36 minutes.
Williams close out the win
Serving two aces, Williams started the second set on a positive note as she held her serve to start the set with. Konta then went on an amazing run as she won three straight games in a row, breaking Williams’ serve in the process at 1-1 as the Brit came from 40-15 down to break serve with the American’s continuous unforced errors certainly did not help.
Konta then consolidated the break to affirm her lead in the second set and looked to level the match. The world number nine lost the break soon, though, as she hit three consecutive unforced errors to gift the break back in a very sloppy game. Her woes continued to drag her down in the scoreboard as Williams earned a second consecutive break of serve after the former world number one’s strong returns flourished again.
In a win-or-bust game for Konta where she had to break back to stay in the match at 3-5, but Williams hit some strong serves in to win the match for her after just 1 hour and 15 minutes.
This was arguably Konta’s poorest display in the tournament as she failed to win more than 60 percent of first service points during the match, as compared to Williams’ magnificent 88 percent. For points won on the second service, Konta won only 40 percent of them whereas the American won 50 percent of them, which was particularly disappointing for both. Williams managed to overpower the Brit for most of the match as she hit 25 winners compared to just a mere 11 from Konta, and just hitting 21 unforced errors which were lesser than Konta’s 22. This was also one of the best performances Williams have put in at this year's competition.