Serena Williams rolls into Aussie Open last 16

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Other women's fourth-rounders set up for Monday: Naomi Osaka, the woman who beat Serena in last year's chaotic U.S. Open final, against No. 13 Anastasija Sevastova; 2017 U.S. Open runner-up Madison Keys against No. 6 Elina Svitolina; and two-time major champion Garbine Muguruza against 2016 U.S. Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova, who beat No. 27 seed Camila Giorgi 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 on Saturday night.

And even though her opponent is ranked 16th entering the big-name match, Halep told USA Today that she can't even compare herself with Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam victor and seven-time Aussie Open champ.

The 37-year-old, who is in the hunt for her first Grand Slam since having a baby, comforted the 18-year-old at the net, telling her: "You did unbelievable, you're gonna make it, don't cry".

The American tennis legend, 37, who holds 23 Grand Slam titles, approached her 18-year-old rival after the match to cheer her up.

Romania's Simona Halep (R) shakes hands with Venus Williams of the United States during their women's singles match on day six of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 19, 2019. Later on, the champion while talking about the incident to BBC, said, "I thought she did really incredible". "I kind of liked that, you know".

Should Halep win on Monday, she will join Martina Hingis and Justine Henin as the only players to knock out the Williams sisters in consecutive rounds of a major. At the start she wanted me to do it - she asked me, "would you do it if I ask you?"

"I'm here, I'm playing as hard as I can and doing the best I can, which is really all I can do", she said.

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I have huge respect for her because she's a great champion, but she's just an opponent next round. It's good to see that attitude. In the victory, Serena won 85 percent of her first serve points and 5- percent of her second serve points. She played a near flawless game with only 12 unforced errors while overpowering the 38-year-old. I haven't played the world number one since I've been back, I don't think. I think I have to play similar [to how I played Venus].

"In my opinion, to be No. 1 in the world and to be the best player in the world - it's a little bit different". "If she does, I'll be there". You also have to question how much Halep has left in the tank considering she has only a few matches under her belt since September.

'I'm going to apologise, ' she sighed. "You go out there and you want to win".

"I just tried to be in the moment and weather the storm", said the Serb, who was unsettled when the lights were switched on in Rod Laver Arena for television reasons, despite it still being daylight. This will be the highest ranked player Williams has faced since becoming a parent.

Last October, Patrick Mouratoglou, the coach at the centre of Serena Williams's US Open final meltdown, called for on-court coaching to be permitted at all events.

"But for sure, [Serena's] the best player in the world because she's won so many Grand Slams".

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