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Result: Serena Williams breezes past Maria Sharapova

Serena Williams brushes aside Maria Sharapova 6-4 6-1 to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

Serena Williams extended her unbeaten run against Maria Sharapova to 18 matches across 12 years as she eased into the Australian Open semi-final this morning.

Serena Williams celebrates defeating Maria Sharapova in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on January 26, 2016© AFP

The opening set was an even affair and Sharapova could have taken a surprise lead but she squandered two break points in the ninth game, before Williams claimed the winning break on the fourth of four set points in the tenth.

The American required physio treatment ahead of the second set but it was not to show back on court as she broke twice to quickly race into a 5-0 lead.

Sharapova showed some signs of making a comeback in the seventh game with two break points, but Williams's resilience told as she wrapped up the match 6-4 6-1 in just over an hour and a half.

Williams will now go on to face Agnieszka Radwanska in the semi-final as the world number one bids for back-to-back titles in Melbourne.

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Novak Djokovic of Serbia poses with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after winning the men's final match against Rafael Nadal of Spain during day fourteen of the 2012 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 29, 2012
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