Serena Williams is very much on course to win a record 24th grand slam title and she took another big step at achieving this on Monday when she sent world No.1 Simona Halep packing in a high-quality fourth round contest at the Australian Open.

 Williams blazed through the first set in just 20 minutes but had to fight tooth and nail on Rod Laver Arena to put away the valiant Halep, prevailing 6-1 4-6 6-4 to book a quarter-final clash with Czech seventh seed Karolina Pliskova.

The victory, just 16 months after giving birth to daughter Olympia, secures an astonishing 50th grand slam quarter-final appearance for the 37-year-old Williams.