Serena Williams has made a habit of proving people wrong throughout her career, and the 2021 Australian Open is proving to be no exception.
The world No.11 turned in a straight sets demolition of world No.2 Simona Halep 6-3, 6-3 to progress to the semi-finals against Naomi Osaka, much to the delight of her husband, Alex Ohanian.
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The Reddit founder was in Williams' player's box alongside her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, and donned a 'Greatest Female Athlete' shirt with the 'female' part crossed out.
Already a vocal supporter of Williams both online and off, Ohanian jumped on Twitter after Williams' latest victory to send a shot across the bows of one of the American star's foremost haters.
Ohanian directed a tweet at former Romanian tennis player Ion Tiriac, who suggested Williams too old and too heavy to have grand slam success in a widely condemned interview earlier this year.
It seems Ohanian has a good memory, directly referencing Tiriac after Williams' defeat of Halep.
"Good thing no one listens to that racist sexist (clown emoji) Ion Tiriac," Ohanian wrote, sharing highlights of Williams' dominant victory on Twitter.
The vocal and enthusiastic presence of Ohanian at Melbourne Park didn't go unnoticed by tennis aficionados, who noted his support online.
Good thing no one listens to that racist sexist 🤡 Ion Țiriac https://t.co/Dz0LVephE0
— §AlexisOhanian 7️⃣7️⃣6️⃣ (@alexisohanian) February 16, 2021
Alexis way hype out of the blocks.
Serena breaks Halep for 2-0 in the first. #AusOpen
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) February 16, 2021
— Bee (@Bridget_Otoo) February 16, 2021
Serena Williams powers past Simona Halep at Australian Open
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.
The 23-time grand slam winner's stunning victory on Tuesday night sets up a blockbuster last-four meeting with Open favourite and 2019 champion Naomi Osaka.
Williams has previously won all eight semi-finals at Melbourne Park.
The match, which lasted 81 minutes, was far closer than the scoreline suggests, with Halep leading 3-1 in the second set.
But the 39-year-old recovered to take the final five games of the match in a brilliant display of power-hitting, smashing 24 winners to Halep's nine.
Williams turned back the clock to keep her charge towards equalling Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam titles alive.
"I definitely think this is the best match I've played this tournament," Williams said.
"I had to (play that well) going up against the No.2 in the world.
"I knew that I had to do better and that's what I did. I'm excited."
The American great entered the match with a 9-2 advantage in head-to-head battles with Halep, but her defeat at the All England club two years ago still hurts.
Williams will take on Osaka, who ended the fairytale run of Taiwan's Hsieh Su-Wei with a 6-2 6-2 demolition job in the quarter-finals, for a second time at a major.
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