Australian Open 2021: Serena Williams nonetheless ‘in love’ with tennis as twenty fourth Slam title beckons

Australian Open 2021: Serena Williams nonetheless ‘in love’ with tennis as twenty fourth Slam title beckons

Serena Williams had 31 unforced errors however wore down Russian Anastasia Potapova 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 in 97 minutes on Rod Laver Enviornment to arrange a conflict with seventh seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

Australian Open 2021: Serena Williams still 'in love' with tennis as 24th Slam title beckons

Serena Williams in motion in opposition to Russia’s Anastasia Potapova on the Australian Open. AP

Serena Williams stated a deep love of tennis stored her motivated in pursuit of a twenty fourth Grand Slam title as she overcame an error-strewn begin Friday to maneuver into the Australian Open fourth spherical.

The 39-year-old had 31 unforced errors however wore down Russian Anastasia Potapova 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 in 97 minutes on Rod Laver Enviornment to arrange a conflict with seventh seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

“I believe if I did not adore it, I would not be sitting right here. I would not be in Australia if I did not love what I do,” she stated when requested how she stored her focus after so a few years, having made her Australian Open debut in 1998.

“I believe that love is among the single best issues on this planet which you could have. It propels you to be your finest in your job, whether or not it is enjoying tennis or whether or not it is doing one thing else.”

The tenth seed had been in sturdy kind to date in Melbourne as she chases Margaret Courtroom’s document 24 Grand Slam tally, however was out-of-sorts in an error-strewn begin to fall down a break.

However Potapova, 19, had a meltdown making an attempt to serve out the primary set with 5 double faults squandering the golden alternative.

A refocused Williams then lifted her depth and received a tiebreak earlier than cruising by the second set.

“It was good to get by that match. The primary set was extraordinarily tight,” she stated.

“I used to be a bit tight, nevertheless it labored out. Was capable of play a bit extra free within the second set.”

Williams, the seven-time Australian Open champion, will on Sunday play Sabalenka who thrashed American Ann Li 6-3, 6-1, with a spot within the quarter-finals at stake.

That match can be performed with no followers within the stadium after Melbourne was ordered right into a snap five-day lockdown from midnight to counter a brand new coronavirus cluster, with gamers getting into a biosecure “bubble”.

Williams stated she had been having fun with the thrill of getting spectators again, as they’ve been for the opening 5 days.

“It isn’t perfect. It has been actually enjoyable to have the gang again, particularly right here. It has been actually cool,” she stated. “However, you recognize what, on the finish of the day now we have to do what’s finest. Hopefully will probably be all proper.”

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