World number one Serena Williams demolished Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska today to surge into her 26th Grand Slam final and zero in on a seventh Australian Open title.
The dominant top seed was untouchable in overpowering the Pole 6-0, 6-4 in just 64 minutes on Rod Laver Arena to set up a decider against German seventh seed Angelique Kerber or unseeded Briton Johanna Konta.
Kerber and Konta play later Thursday, with whoever wins facing a huge obstacle to be crowned champion. Of her 25 previous major finals, Williams has won 21.
“I’m really excited to be in another final, it kind of blows my mind right now,” said Williams, 34.
“I feel I am playing the best I can, and I can’t believe I am in the final.
“I started playing aggressive again in the second set and it worked out.”
The writing was on the wall for Radwanska—Williams had never lost a semi-final at Melbourne Park on her way to six titles, and had beaten the Pole in each of their previous eight meetings stretching back to 2008.
She crushed long-time rival Maria Sharapova in the quarter-finals and dished out the same treatment to Radwanska, halting her 13-match win streak in emphatic fashion.
The victory puts her just one win away from matching Steffi Graf’s Open-era Grand Slam record of 22 titles, with Margaret Court’s all-time mark of 24 edging closer.
In her 16th Australian Open, Williams, who said this week she had no plans to retire any time soon, got on the front foot immediately, and effortlessly.
Within a minute of the match starting she had a break point as she hit clean winners and attacked the net.
It was the worst possible opening for Radwanska, with Williams, the oldest world number one in WTA history, breaking and then using her huge power advantage to easily hold serve, racing 2-0 clear with a smash at the net.
Radwanska, 26, was in serious trouble with Williams attacking her vulnerable second serve, and a double fault left her flailing 0-3 behind.