Venus Williams beats Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to reach Australian Open semi-final

Venus Williams has reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open, for the first time in 14 years, as she goes in search of her eighth Grand Slam title.

The 36-year-old veteran has only ever reached the final at Melbourne Park but came one step closer to matching that feat with a straight sets victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

While the American was broken on many occasions in the match, her opponent, the 24th seed, was never able to consolidate her leads and eventually Williams came through 6-4 7-6 (7-3).

Impressively the 13th seed is yet to drop a single set on her way through her opening five matches.

Williams, the oldest Grand Slam quarter-finalist since Martina Navratilova reached the final of Wimbledon aged 37 back in 1994, was broken early in the first set, as her Russian opponent came out of the blocks much faster.

The American did hit back after a couple of loose games from the 25-year-old but was then broken again as Pavlyuchenkova took a 4-3 lead.

That was, however, the last game the Russian would win in the set as Williams stormed back to a 6-4 win in the opener.

The second set started in similar fashion, with Pavlyuchenkova getting the breakthrough but unable to consolidate her lead.

A similar thing happened later in the set, as the Russian continually failed to take advantage once she got the lead and Williams eventually made her pay and advanced to the semi-finals, where she will face either Coco Vandeweghe or Garbine Muguruza.



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