Serena Sails Into Australian Open Semis
The five-time Australian Open champ needed slightly more than hour to demolish 11th seed Cibulkova 6-2 6-2 and advances to face the 19-year-old Keys, who overcame Venus Williams 6-3 4-6 6-4 also on Wednesday.
Battling a cough, Williams got off to a slow start by hitting four errors in the opening game, but rattled off five straight games to complete the first set in just 28 minutes.
With Cibulkova down 2-1 to start the second set, the 2014 Australian Open finalist produced two break points only to have them saved by Williams as the 33-year-old cruised to victory behind a 37-7 winners count.
“I just knew that I had to be good today because she was in the final and she plays really well on this court,” Williams said. “I am just happy to be able to come through.”
Keys required a second set medical timeout to deal with a scary thigh injury en route to a 6-3 4-6 6-4 win over the 18th seed Venus Williams.
“It was definitely kind of a flashback to Wimbledon for me,” Keys said of the injury. “I have had some problems with that part of my leg, so it was kind of an overwhelming moment.
“It was kind of scary but luckily I was able to catch it before I did any real damage to it.”
The 19-year-old fought back from a break down at 3-1 the final set to wrap up the one hour and 54-minute victory.
“The moment is definitely sweeter being able to play Venus,” Keys said of her childhood idol. “It’s amazing – you just have to embrace the moment – I did, and I get to enjoy another moment in the next round.”
Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.