No. 7 seed Garbine Muguruza, as unseeded American Coco Vandeweghe said, was the first to blink, setting up a blockbuster all-American semifinal at the Australian Open that doesn’t include two Williams sisters.
Tied at 4-4 in their Tuesday quarterfinal match, Vandeweghe let numerous break point opportunities go by until the Spaniard Muguruza double faulted to give the American the break and a 5-4 lead. From that point Vandeweghe did not lose another game, powering into the semifinals 6-4, 6-0 and onto a meeting with No. 13 seed Venus Williams.
“It feels really good,” said the confident Vandeweghe on reaching her first Grand Slam semifinal. “It’s amazing to be in a semifinal. But, you know, not satisfying. I want to keep going, keep playing. There’s more things to do out on a tennis court that I’m hoping to achieve.”
Vandeweghe and the elder Williams sister have only played once, last year on clay in Rome where Venus won 6-4, 6-3.
“It’s a dream to play someone you grew up watching,” Vandeweghe said. “To play an unbelievable player, future Hall of Famer, Venus, to be on the court with her, I’ve only experienced it one time before. But to do it at this stage of a Grand Slam is kind of crazy. I mean, I can’t really put it into words.”
Williams earlier in the day defeated No. 24 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 7-6(3) for her 50th win in Melbourne.
“To me, the semifinals is a steppingstone, just like the other rounds,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to advance. The tournament is by no means over. It’s definitely down to the business end. I feel like I’m playing the kind of tennis I want to produce the results that I want.
“I’m sure she’s going to want to be in her first final. I’m going to want to be in only my second final here. So it’s going to be a well-contested match.”
Quarterfinals Wednesday in Melbourne will be (5) Karolina Pliskova vs. unseeded Croat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, and (9) Johanna Konta vs. (2) Serena Williams.
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