American veteran Serena Williams got the better of Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka in the fourth round of the Australian Open 2021. Sabalenka was the higher-ranked player going into the match, and showed that she can match Serena toe to toe.
The no.7 seed said before the match that she will ‘give her all’ against Williams and nearly gave a mini-scare to the American after winning the second seed 6-2. But Williams used all her experience to win the last set and cruise into the Quarter-finals.
“I just needed to play better on the big points. I knew that I could. I still hadn’t reached my peak.” : Serena Williams
This victory was Serena’s 90th Australian Open win. She looks well on course to win her record 24th major. In the post match interview, she said that she could needs to play better in the big points. And that she probably hasn’t peaked yet.
“I just felt like even games that I lost, I was so close to winning,” said Williams. “Not all games, but probably most of those games. I just needed to play better on the big points. I knew that I could. I still hadn’t reached my peak. I was like, ‘Okay, Serena, you got this, just keep going.'”
She also spoke about having her sister Venus Williams‘ support her in the crowd.
“She’s really one of the only voices I hear. I don’t know if I zone out and she’s the only one I hear. I know when I hear her voice, it just makes me calm and confident. Yeah, I think there’s something about it that just makes me feel really good.”, Williams said.
When asked about whom she would want to face in the QF, Williams said that she ready for either player. She will face the winner of two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep or reigning Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek.
“At this point I’m ready for either player,” Williams said. “It’s quarterfinals of a Grand Slam. I’ve been here more times than I could even count. That’s the right attitude for me to have. I’ll be ready for either player.”, she concluded.