Simona Halep books Serena Williams meeting in Australian Open fourth round
Two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza also through to last-16
Last Updated: 19/01/19 5:02pm
World No 1 Simona Halep will meet seven-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams in the fourth round after a comprehensive victory against the American's sister Venus.
Halep was pushed hard in both of her opening matches against Kaia Kanepi and Sofia Kenin but delivered an assertive performance against the 38-year-old American in Melbourne.
The top seed broke Williams six times as the Romanian's greater consistency from the baseline and her 21 winners during the 6-2 6-3 victory maintained her bid for a second Grand Slam title.
It's a big challenge but I'm ready to face it.
Simona Halep on facing Serena Williams
"It's been a great match. I'm really happy with how I played. Of course it's always a challenge to play against the Williams sisters so I was super motivated today."
Williams had earlier recorded her third successive straight-sets victory of the opening week with a 6-2 6-1 victory against Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska.
Halep lost to Caroline Wozniacki in last year's final and the 27-year-old is looking forward to the opportunity to face a great of the game on Monday.
Asked about the prospect of facing a second Williams sister, Halep said: "Not easy. I have just to enjoy, to give my best. I have nothing to lose, I play against a great champion. It's a big challenge but I'm ready to face it."
Garbine Muguruza backed up early morning marathon victory against Johanna Konta with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 victory against Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky.
Two nights ago the two-time Grand Slam champion finished her second round meeting with British No 1 at 3:12am but the 18th seed showed no obvious psychical effects to secure her fifth victory from six meetings with Bacsinszky.
Muguruza will face seventh seed Karolina Pliskova on Monday after the former world No 1 defeated Italy's Camila Giorgi 6-4 3-6 6-2.
We have the Australian Open covered from all angles via our website skysports.com/tennis. On the move? Head to our app for mobile devices and iPad, or follow our Twitter account @SkySportsTennis to join in the conversation.