Sharapova hungry for more shots at Serena

But Kerber will still start as a huge underdog in Saturday's title match against Williams, who has won all six of the Australian Open finals she has contested, including last year's decider against Maria Sharapova.

Sharapova started off brilliantly as she broke Williams in the opening game and then held her own serve to take a 2-0 lead.

Williams' win sends her into a seventh Australian Open semi-final - where she will face Agnieszka Radwanska - and she has won the title every time she has reached this stage in Melbourne.

Of Williams' 21 grand slams, six of them have come at the Australian Open as she prepares to meet Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the final four.

"When I got in the rally I wasn't moving forward, wasn't cutting the angles off enough", Sharapova said.

Kerber ended Sydney-born British player Johanna Konta's surprising run with a 7-5, 6-2 semifinal win to reach her first Grand Slam final. Despite remaining an invincible force, the driven American said she had learned to relax and was enjoying her tennis greatly now that the clock was ticking on her career. "He's one of those guys who make you a better player, he's beaten me on the biggest courts around the world".

"She got the better of me at Hopman Cup". Hitting power shots at Serena just makes her power shots coming back have more pace.

Instead the powerful American sent down the fastest serve of the tournament at 202km/h and blasted her opponent off the court in an hour and a half.

It dates back to 2004 when she last beat her in the Wimbledon final. Spectators- including a woman with a sign reading: "Just Married But Willing to Exchange for Federer" - were firmly behind him, applauding Djokovic's service faults and giving Federer a standing ovation when he broke to go ahead 4-2 in the third set.

Williams steadied, while Sharapova twice double-faulted en route to 0-40 but won the next five points to make it 4-4.

"I definitely think I needed the time off. I've been going and going and going for a long time". I didn't think I would have done as well as I have.

Radwanka after the first set onslaught looked bemused and frustrated, before lifting in the second to hold serve on a few occasions and taking the lead on two occasions.

The world number one's incredible record against Sharapova dates back to an epic semi-final at the 2005 Australian Open, when she scraped home in a 2-6, 7-5, 8-6 thriller.

"I have nothing to lose and it does not matter who I play. You know, I feel exhausted", Suarez Navarro said after the match. "This is her goal", she said.

"I think if you're serving maybe 180 (km/hr) against somebody else compared to Serena, that's an ace", Sharapova said.

"I thought [this] was going to be a really rough part [of the season]", she added.

Williams hasn't played a left-hander so far this tournament and said that, combined with Kerber's quarterfinal win over two-time champion Victoria Azarenka, were making her wary.

Zhang had lost all 14 of her previous Grand Slam matches before this year's tournament but she has now won four in a row after beating Keys 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 as the American struggled with an upper left leg injury. It proved to be vital as she came through a titanic 10th game with a volley on her fourth set point, finally winning the set after a brutal 55 minutes.

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