Oops! Serena Williams abruptly halted on entrance to Rod Laver Arena

Oops! Serena Williams abruptly halted on entrance to Rod Laver Arena

"I just work so hard for every point".

Serena Williams proved too strong for top seed Simona Halep as she booked her spot in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

Prior to the match however, Williams was left re-faced after MC and Nine commentator Cameron Williams introduced the players.

It looked as if Williams had heard the words "world No. 1" and forgotten she wasn't atop of the rankings but the likelihood is that organisers flipped the usual order - where the higher ranked player comes out second - without telling the American.

She then went up a break in the second, but that's when Halep suddenly seemed to wake up and display her own brand of baseline talent that carried her to the Australian Open final and French Open championship in 2018. I love playing tennis, I love this court and it's really cool to be back out here playing.

The turning point came in the sixth game of the third set when Halep clawed three break points but Williams held and took a decisive break in the fifth.

The American dismantled Halep's game to race through the opening set in 20 minutes.

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Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam Down Under two years ago while two months pregnant and is the bookies' favourite to claim an eighth Australian title, despite being seeded 16th.

'I'm such a fighter I just never give up. I don't know, it's definitely something that's innate. Osaka, who beat Williams in last year's U.S. Open final, edged No. 13 Anastasija Sevastova 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the fourth round, while Svitolina got past 2017 U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys 6-2, 1-6, 6-1.

The win for Williams was made sweeter by the fact Romanian Halep had beaten her sister Venus in the previous round to face both sisters in succession, albeit gaining her retribution by being pushed all the way by the 27-year-old in Melbourne.

On the women's side, all eyes will be on Serena Williams as she aims for Grand Slam number 24.

As the master of ceremonies in the Rod Laver Arena announced the entrance of "the world No 1 from.", out walked Serena Williams. I had to just play a little bit like I knew I could and I did, and I think hopefully that was the difference. Yastremska was in tears after the match but Williams consoled the Ukrainian teenager. "So, for me, I feel kind of lucky that I'm unknown".

Another severe test awaits, against big-serving seventh seed Karolina Pliskova, who was impressive in beating Jo Konta's late night conqueror Garbine Muguruza 6-3 6-1.