Melbourne: Serena Williams overpowered 18-year-old Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska to make it to the fourth round of the Australian Open on Saturday. And in a very touching gesture Williams was seen consoling her opponent.
“You did amazing. You did so well. You did amazing. Don’t cry. You did really well,” the seven-time champion told Yastremska after the match.
Serena made light work of her third-round match at the Rod Laver Arena as she won 6-2, 6-1 by sending 20 winners flying past the 57th-ranked 18-year-old.
Yastremska rolled her right ankle midway through and took a medical time-out to have her foot bandaged when trailing 4-1 in the second set.
It stalled defeat only briefly, however, as Serena broke her a third time in the set and claimed the match when the Ukrainian sprayed a cross-court forehand wide.
The teenager broke down after her loss but Serena was quick to offer support at the nets.
“I thought she played amazing, came out swinging. I felt like she came out ready to go,” she added. “I’m taking every match as it comes, but I’m playing as hard as I can, the best I can do and I love it out here,” Williams said.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion and seven-time Australian Open champion, is now set to play against either World number one Simona Halep from Romania or her elder sister Venus Williams.
Serena, who was defeated by Venus 7-6(4), 6-1 in their first Australian Open face-off in the second round in the year 1998, defeated Yastremska with her strong serves and stalled the Ukrainian’s attempt to make a comeback in the match.
(With inputs from IANS)