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Williams again makes easy work of Sharapova

Serena Williams just has Maria Sharapova's number and advanced back to the Australian Open semifinals.

Serena Williams just has Maria Sharapova’s number and advanced back to the Australian Open semifinals.

She just cannot figure out how to beat her. Having to play Maria Sharapova strikes fear in everybody, but Serena Williams just beat her for the 18th straight time; a run that has gone on for 12 years now. Winner of six Australian Open’s in history, including last year’s event, Williams has returned to the semifinals with a one-sided 6-4, 6-1 victory over Sharapova.

Sixteen errors by Williams kept Sharapova close in the first set, but the defending champion settled down in the second, limited her errors down to just four and because of her her net game increased to 83-percent on approaches, her 1st serve points rose from 68-percent to 80-percent and she went 2-for-2 on break point conversions to cruise to the two-set victory.

No. 1 Williams will face No. 4 Agniezka Radwanska in the semifinals. The 26-year-old Polish player advanced to her second Australian Open semifinal and first since 2010 with a two-set victory over no. 10 Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-3. But don’t let the line fool you, it was a close match with long volleys and lasted one hour 22 minutes.

Suarez Navarro’s undoing was her 45 errors to Radwanska’s 13 in the match. Radwanska scored on 26 of her 38 first serves. Suarez Navarro scored on just 22-of-41 first serves.

Federer nearly flawless against Berdych

Roger Federer

Roger Federer was pushed in the first set but the third-seeded Swiss superstar put on a clinic against No. 6 Tomas Berdych in the second set and continued on for a 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-4 straight-set victory.

Federer played a great first set, scoring on 88-percent of his first serves and completing 8-of-10 net approaches, but Berdych matched his five first set aces, hit 13 winners and scored on 80-percent of his first serves. Federer was just a little but better and went ahead in the match. After that is just seemed that Berdych would not net his spark back, as if he put everything into that first set and lost it all with the let down.

While Federer won 83-percent of his first serves and hit 16 winners, Berdych’s numbers dropped significantly in the second set, winning only 57-percent of his first serves with six winners.

Berdych was much better in the third and even took a 3-2 games lead, but he was still a bit off and Federer hit 16 winners, went 17-for-22 scoring on first serves and was great approaching the net while Berdych almost exclusively stayed on the back line.

Djokovic still a bit sloppy, but eases past Nishikori

Novak Djokovic

After committing 100 unforced errors in the round of 16, Djokovic committed just 27 in a straight-set victory over No. 7 Kei Nishikori.

Djokovic, who has won five Australian Open titles since 2008, booked a date against Federer in the semifinals with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Nishikori.

But Djokovic did not exactly look like the world No. 1 already, despite the easy victory over a great competitor. Nishikori committed 54 unforced errors in three sets. He was simply unable to keep volley’s alive. Djokovic hit only 22 winners in the match. He only had six aces and scored on only 65-percent of his first serves and 66-percent of his second serves.

But he was much better than he was against Simon, eliminated the backhand drop that he just could not hit against Simon, and for a third-straight major set up a powerhouse match against Federer.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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