Tennis: Serena waltzes into Australian Open quarter-finals

Serena Williams during her fourth round match against Margarita Gasparyan at the Australian Open.
Serena Williams during her fourth round match against Margarita Gasparyan at the Australian Open. PHOTO: EPA

(REUTERS) - World No. 1 Serena Williams wasted little time in swatting aside Russia's Margarita Gasparyan 6-2, 6-1 on Sunday (Jan 24), setting up an Australian Open quarter-final showdown with Maria Sharapova.

Williams was broken in the first game of the fourth-round match, only the second time she had dropped serve in the tournament, before she rattled off the next four games and went on to seal the set in 30 minutes.

The 34-year-old defending champion barely got into second gear against Gasparyan and breezed through the second set to seal the match in less than an hour.

Williams has now had three relatively straightforward matches after being pushed by Camila Giorgi in the first round, and should be well rested when she faces Sharapova, who she beat in last year's final.