Tennis world erupts over detail on Serena Williams husband's shirt

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Serena Williams' husband, pictured here during her quarter-final at the Australian Open.
Serena Williams' husband had the tennis world talking. Image: Getty

Serena Williams' husband sent the tennis world into overdrive on Tuesday night during her quarter-final victory over Simoan Halep at the Australian Open.

Williams equalled Roger Federer's record for most grand slam match victories after powering past the World No.2 to book her spot in a ninth semi-final at Melbourne Park.

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In their first meeting since Halep's demolition of Williams in the 2019 Wimbledon final, the American great rediscovered her top-form to exact revenge on the Romanian and triumph 6-3 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena.

During the dominant display that had many comparing it to Williams' vintage best, her husband Alexis Ohanian was spotted in her courtside box wearing a very apt t-shirt.

Ohanian was sporting a white shirt with a photo of Williams on the front, along with the words 'Greatest female athlete' with 'female' crossed out.

It was the perfect message to all of Williams' haters, which include Romanian tennis great Ion Tiriac.

Tiriac was widely condemned earlier this year for a controversial interview in which he said Williams was too old and too heavy to taste grand slam glory again.

"Good thing no one listens to that racist sexist (clown emoji) Ion Tiriac," Ohanian wrote on Twitter after the match.

Serena Williams sets up clash with Naomi Osaka

The 39-year-old's victory on Tuesday night sets up a blockbuster last-four meeting with pre-tournament favourite and 2019 Open champion Naomi Osaka.

Williams turned back the clock to crush Halep in just 81 minutes to put her just two wins away from equalling Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam titles.

She has lost four finals in pursuit of Court's momentous mark since winning her last major in 2017, which she achieved while pregnant.

The seven-time Australian Open champion has now won 362 matches at majors to equal Federer's record.

If Williams wins her 40th appearance in a grand slam semi-final, the mother-of-one could meet world No.1 Ashleigh Barty in Saturday night's decider with the Australian fancied to progress through her softer side of the draw.

Serena Williams' husband Alexis Ohanian and coach Patrick Mouratoglou, pictured here cheering her on against Simona Halep.
Serena Williams' husband Alexis Ohanian and coach Patrick Mouratoglou cheer her on against Simona Halep. (Photo by BRANDON MALONE/AFP via Getty Images)

The determined veteran, who has previously won all eight semi-finals at Melbourne Park, feels she is only improving the longer the Open goes.

"I definitely think this is the best match I've played this tournament," Williams said.

"I knew I couldn't play worse (than she did against Halep last time) so that was a good thing."

Williams will on Thursday battle Osaka, who ended the fairytale run of Taiwan's Hsieh Su-Wei with a demolition job in the quarter-finals, for a second time at a major.

Their first clash came in the 2018 US Open final, with Osaka winning 6-2 6-4 on Williams' home major court in New York.

In one of the more controversial women's finals, the pro-Williams crowd booed Osaka post-match for spoiling their hero's parade.

Williams' own behaviour during the match was highly criticised, after she called the umpire a "thief" among a series of unsavoury incidents.

"I think we both have had closure (from that match), and we have reached out to each other," Williams said of her relationship with Osaka.

"I think she's a great competitor and she's a cool cat."

with AAP

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