Australia Open: Halep sets up Serena showdown, Djokovic progresses

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Serena Williams consoled 18-year-old Dayana Yastremska after the seven-time Australian Open champion breezed into the fourth round.

"I have nothing to lose", she added, looking ahead to Monday's clash against 23-time Grand Slam victor Serena. 37-year-old Williams was heard telling Yastremska, reminding her opponent that she's only a teenager still. It was Dayana's second appearance in a Grand Slam after her debut at the 2018 US Open when she lost in the first round.

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - The Australian Open matchup between former No. 1 Serena Williams and current No. 1 Simona Halep sure feels as if it could be the showdown of the tournament, a meeting to determine the champion.

The top seed from Romania, who belatedly claimed her maiden major title at last year's French Open, downed Venus Williams 6-2, 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena on Saturday night.

She also shared a touching Instagram story of the moment she was hugged by Williams, with the caption: "I took huge experience, next time, I'm gonna use it!" "I kind of liked that". Her opponents, on the other hand, are learning it's tough to win a match while in awe of the woman on the other side of the net. She wanted to win.

Asked whether the women's tour needs more support from their male counterparts, Williams added: 'I think Andy has been really vocal about everyone being treated equally.

Against Venus, Halep played her best match in months.

Serena Williams is known for keeping a tenacious grip over the headlines as whatever she does set the tongues blabbering, always! I think I have to play similar [to how I played Venus]. "There's a good chance for me to play my best tennis and to feel good on court". "She played a great match". It's the most important thing.

Right from the start, Yastremska appeared a bit jittery, missing 9 of 10 first serves and double-faulting three times while getting broken in each of her opening two service games.

"I just didn't want to give up", said Osaka.

The centre court humiliation had Dart weeping as she beat a hasty exit, but Sharapova had little sympathy for the 22-year-old after her nightmare debut at Melbourne Park. "I am ready to face it". "Every match was intimidating and not easy but you just go out and do the best you can". "You just go out and swing and do the best you can".

"And if it is tolerated, it's hard for the coaches to know if they should do it or not because the other ones are doing it and if you don't do it with your player you feel your player has a disadvantage compared to the other ones".

Legend Pat Cash praised Williams for her actions and said: "Serena is a lovely person, that was really nice to see actually".

Changing pace and direction, using drop shots and with wonderful disguise on her ground strokes, Hsieh stunned Halep and Muguruza in grand slams past year.