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Serena Williams destroys Maria Sharapova to reach semi-finals

DEFENDING champion Serena Williams has shrugged off illness to sweep into the Australian Open semi-finals, destroying rival Maria Sharapova.
Chasing a seventh Melbourne Park crown, Williams twice required medical attention before crushing Sharapova 6-4 6-1 to reach her seventh Open semi.

Ominously, each time the American advances this far at this tournament she invariably wins it — just as she did in 2003, ‘05, ‘07, ‘09, ‘10 and last year..
Extending her record over world No. 5 Sharapova to 19 wins from 21 encounters, Williams jubilated in downing the Russian for the 18th successive time.
“It was super intense,” Williams said.
“She’s (Sharapova) an incredibly tense focus player.
“When you have to play somebody who’s that great you have to come out with a lot of intensity.
“I’ve been playing aggressive all week and after the first set I wanted to get back to playing that way in the second set.”
Williams, 34, did not immediately elaborate on her health after reaching her 30th grand slam semi-final.
She will face Agnieszka Radwanska for a place in Saturday’s final after the Polish fourth seed destroyed Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1 6-3.
It was the top seed Williams’ 13th straight sets margin over Sharapova in 14 clashes.
Packing too much firepower — 31 winners to 11 and 13 aces to three — Williams delivered a chilling reminder of her class and skill.

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