Four-time Australian Open champion Monica Seles moved into her sixth semi final here on Tuesday evening, care of a steely three-set win over No.2 seed Venus Williams 6-7(4) 6-2 6-3.
The eighth-seeded Seles displayed nerves of steel in the one hour, 57 minute grunt-fest which thrilled the packed crowd on Rod Laver Arena. Seles won the match with her consistency from the baseline – the former world No.1 committed half as many errors (25) as Williams(49) and played a tactically superior game form the backcourt.
Williams, who had been surrounded by an injury cloud coming into the match, received off-court treatment at 4-4 in the first set, after gingerly pulling up on her right leg. The reigning Wimbedon and US Open champion returned with her upper right thigh strapped, and held twice to force a tiebreak.
But despite Williams’ most valiant efforts in the second and third sets, the gutsy Seles extended her extraordinary win-loss record here at Melbourne Park to 42-2, moving into the semi final where she will meet three-time champion Martina Hingis.