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Tennis - 22. January 2019.

Day 10 Australian open

Day 10 scheduled matches

An astonishing 11 women commenced their AO2019 campaigns with the opportunity to seize the world No.1 ranking – but only one, Serena Williams, could achieve history with an all-time record-equalling 24 Grand Slam titles.

 
With a gruelling three-set victory over world No.1 Simona Halep on Monday, Serena sent a powerful reminder of her lofty position among the game’s greatest. Now comes the opportunity for Williams to add to it as she faces Karolina Pliskova in her 50th Grand Slam quarterfinal.

MORE: Day 10 schedule of play
 
It’s a record that began building 21 years ago, Serena playing her first Grand Slam event as a 16-year-old at AO1998. She lifted her first major trophy at the US Open, age 17, in 1999.

Some two decades and a further 22 Grand Slam titles later, epic numbers are not even what’s most remarkable about Williams’ time on tour. Rather, it’s the hunger to add more to her history as a 37-year-old mother that still defines her superstar status.

The seven-time Australian Open champion showcased her fierce will to win as she overcame Halep, the 107-minute victory a huge step forward in the comeback that began only 10 months ago. After taking the first set in 20 minutes and leading by a break in the second, Williams needed all her talent and willpower to stave off the spirited Halep.

“It's a part of this journey on my way back,” reasoned the American, who is playing only her eighth official tournament in her new role as a tennis-playing mother to daughter Olympia. “I felt like I did have an opportunity to win that in straight sets, but then I'm playing the No. 1 player in the world.

“So I'm still learning, which is, at my age and my point in my career, I think (is) admirable and exciting that I still have things I can learn from.”

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