Venus and Serena set for a showdown

SISTER act Serena and Venus Williams are heading for a semi-final showdown after reaching the last eight of the Australian Open in contrasting style.

Defending champion Serena looked in irresistible form in powering to a 6-4, 6-2 win over Sam Stosur to set up a last eight clash with Victoria Azarenka.

Home favourite Stosur beat Serena in their previous meeting at Stanford last year, and the American top seed was clearly delighted to turn the tables. “I can’t believe it,” she said. “Sam beat me last time pretty convincingly, so I knew I had to do real good.

“I think my serve was pretty good. It’s important when you’re playing a local girl to not let the crowd get too involved or else they’ll kill you.”

Serena now takes on ninth seed Azarenka in the last eight after the Belarussian recovered from a set down to beat Russia’s Vera Zvonareva 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 in a two-hour, 28-minute marathon which finished well after midnight.

Elder sister Venus, still yet to win a Grand Slam title in Melbourne, had to come from a set and a break down to dispose of Italian Francesca Schiavone 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.

She now plays China’s Li Na, who stunned fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-3 to join fellow countrywoman Zheng Jie in the last eight – the first time two Chinese players have ever reached the quarter-final stage of a Grand Slam.

S Williams (US) (1) v V Azarenka (Blr) (7)
N Li (Chi) (16) v V Williams (USA) (6)
J Henin (Bel) v N Petrova (Rus) (19)
J Zheng (Chi) v M Kirilenko (Rus)