While one side of the Australian Open semi-final bracket will feature an all-Russian affair, the other side will now showcase a generational battle between top seed Serena Williams and rising star Madison Keys. This marks the first time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, and is set to be a thrilling encounter.
Although Williams has had to dig herself out of 1st set deficits in her last two matches, she made quick work of her quarter-final obstacle, last year’s runner-up Dominika Cibulkova. She defeated her Slovakian adversary 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the final four with relative ease. This is also the American’s first time in the semi-final of the Australian Open since she won the tournament five years ago, and she will now play the future star of her nation.
“She’s playing great,” Williams said of Keys. “I told her I was really happy that she did well. She’s in the semis. It’s good to see another American, another African American, in the semifinals playing so well. Regardless, there’s going to be an American in the finals, so that is great. It’s also great for me and Venus because we know that finally there’s other Americans that are constantly playing well and playing better, showing that they want to be the world’s greatest.”
Earlier in the evening, Madison Keys continued her remarkable fortnight in Melbourne with a three-set win against Venus Williams. She played half the match heavily bandaged but still managed to pull through from a 3-1 deficit in the final set.
“First of all, I’m very happy I’m into the semifinals, but the moment’s definitely sweeter being able to play Venus to get there,” said Keys. “I was trying to enjoy the moment, and I did, and I get to enjoy another moment in the next round!”
This is the first time that Williams and Key will cross paths on the professional tour. While the top seed is the unquestionable favourite heading into this match, Keys’ performances this week shine a different light on the youngster’s capabilities. If the injury does not hinder her, she could push the former champion to her limit.
Prediction: Serena Williams in Three Sets