Serena Williams has sent an ominous warning to her rivals – insisting she is peaking at the right time – after her quarter-final win 6-3 6-3 over world number two Simona Halep - and added that her semi-final opponent Naomi Osaka is an inspiration on and off the court.
Williams, now two victories from a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam win, last won a major in 2017, also at Melbourne Park, and will face Osaka for a place in the final.
The 39-year-old hit 24 winners against Halep, but also made 33 unforced errors, with her Romanian opponent going a break up twice in the second set, and while Williams acknowledged that there was room for improvement, she added that the quarter-final was her best performance of the tournament thus far.
Serena v Sharapova, Federer v Ferrer: Tennis’ most surprising head-to-head records
“I was making a lot of unforced errors but I knew I had an opportunity to play better. So I just hung in there and kept going,” began Williams, who, when asked by on-court interviewer Jim Courier whether she was peaking at the right time, added:
This is definitely my best match so far.

Highlights: Dominant Serena races past Halep into semi-finals

Next up for Williams, a semi-final showdown with Osaka. The pair have met three times before – most notably in the final of the US Open in 2018 – and the world number three Osaka holds a 2-1 advantage in the head-to-heads.

'The best I've played this tournament, I'm excited' - Serena

Williams told Courier that Osaka inspires her on and off the court.
"She’s such a strong player on the court and you know she's such an inspirational person off the court,” added Williams.
It's so good to see someone that is so inspiring.
"I've been watching her and I'm sure she's been watching me,” added Williams.
"I feel like this is such a good opportunity for me just to keep doing my best after an incredibly long arduous off season, so I'm really happy."

'Outstanding!' - Stunning Serena winner sends husband wild in celebration

- - -
A head-turning offer for head-turning tennis. One-month premium subscription for just 99p on the Eurosport app and
US Open
'I just needed to stop' - Williams opens up about retiring at US Open
WTA Seoul
Raducanu beats Uchijima to reach second round in Seoul
21/09/2022 AT 15:16