Hello and welcome to LIVE coverage from the second of the women's quarter-finals between world number one Serena Williams and world number five Maria Sharapova.
S. Williams vs M. Sharapova | Australian Open
Women Singles | Quarter-final | 26.01.2016 | Melbourne
S. Williams (1)
M. Sharapova (5)
So the first of the women's semi-finals on Thursday will see world number one Serena Williams take on world number four Agnieszka Radwanska.
Williasm 6-4 6-1 Sharapova. Game, set and match. With nothing left to lose, Sharapova thumps a belting forehand winner to earn herself a break back point. Her forehand return goes long of the baseline to squander it but Williams hands her opponent a second chance when she goes long down the centre of the court with a backhand to end a lengthy rally. Terrific defence from Sharapova but after an hour and 31 minutes, Williams has match point. And that's all that's needed as Williams just about gets up to a drop shot from the Russian and threads her forehand down the line for a winner.
Williams 6-4 5-1 Sharapova. Fantastic fighting spirit from Sharapova - but what else would you expect? The Russian holds with a forehand winner down the line followed by an ace to force Williams to serve for the match. It will be with new balls through.
Williams 6-4 5-0 Sharapova. Williams looked as though she was cruising to the end of the match before a double fault and a poor forehand error allow Sharapova to put some pressure on at 30-all. A booming forehand winner sees Williams sneak ahead once again but Sharapova jumps up the court for a blistering forehand return, that Williams cannot return in play, to level at deuce. But a forehand winner and an ace in quick succession snuff out any hopes Sharapova had of starting to fashion a comeback. Instead the Russian will have to serve to stay in this match after the change of ends.
Williams 6-4 4-0 Sharapova. Break. Sharapova is fighting with everything she has but her serve has really let her down today as she hands Williams two more break points with yet another double fault. And that's all Williams needs as Sharapova goes long with a forehand going for too much. A set and a double break now for Williams as she pushes a distressed Sharapova to her limits.
Williams 6-4 3-0 Sharapova. The Russian tries something different with a trip into the net but a low backhand volley proves too much, and Sharapova nets. It's a dismissive love service game from Williams, who holds with an ace down the centre of the court. This is becoming very one-sided now.
Williams 6-4 2-0 Sharapova. Break. Another battling service game for Sharapova ends in favour of Williams. The Russian brings up a game point with a booming forehand winner but Williams denies her before going on to break with a backhand winner across court.
Williams 6-4 1-0 Sharapova. Sharapova takes some shadow swings at the back of the court before Williams thumps her way through a love service game to open the second set. There's still really very little for the crowd to really get involved in in this match so it's a subdued atmosphere around the Rod Laver Arena at the moment.
Sharapova slaps her thigh in disgust but Serena has called for the tournament doctor to join her at the change of ends.
Williams 6-4 Sharapova. Set. A really battling game from Sharapova as she saves three set points with some really gutsy play against Williams. But eventually Serena does seal the set, with an inside out forehand approach shot followed by a forehand volley across into the open court for a winner. Sharapova is really up against it again now.
Williams 5-4 Sharapova. It's a shocking serving display from both players so far as Williams mixes two aces with two doubles to allow Sharapova a look at the break from deuce. The Russian even denies Williams on a game point with a blistering forehand winner. But Williams brings up another game point with a big serve out wide followed up with a forehand winner back behind the scrambling Sharapova. An ace then seals the game for Serena and Sharapova will have to serve to keep this first set alive after the change of ends.
Williams 4-4 Sharapova. Again, another two double faults in the game, leave Sharapova staring down the wrong end of two break points. Serena can't take advantage of either of the first two, squandering them on backhand errors, before Sharapova levels up at deuce with an ace. From there the Russian goes on to hold with a booming forehand winner and we are level once more.