ASB Classic: Serena Williams overcomes Laura Siegemund in quarter-final

Serena Williams has surged into the semi-finals of Auckland's Australian Open lead-up event, beating Laura Siegemund in straight sets.

The 23-time major winner bludgeoned her way to a 6-4 6-3 success in one hour and 27 minutes on Friday at the ASB Classic.

The win ensures Williams' best tournament performance before Melbourne Park in more than a decade, given the legendary American usually skips ranked lead-up events.

Having opted for the New Zealand tournament to prepare for her 19th Australian Open campaign - where she will aim to tie Margaret Court's mark of 24 grand slam titles - it increasingly looks like she'll arrive in Melbourne with a title in 2020 already in her safekeeping.

Williams had the impressive German's measure in the first set without forcing a break until the final game.

The 39-year-old endured a blip early in the second set, broken as she struggled in blustery conditions.

Williams misread the ball in flight several times, throwing her hands to the sky in frustration.

Trailing 0-40 on serve, Williams won five straight points in a ferocious resumption of business as usual, before breaking back with the help of a net cord.

Pushing Siegemund to all corners of the court, Williams raced through the final five games of the set to lock up her place in the final four - where she will take on Amanda Anisimova who fought past Genie Bouchard, winning 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 to give herself her lifelong dream of facing Williams. 

"The conditions definitely didn't help," Williams said.

"Oh my god, it's good to get through that. She was an incredibly tricky player."

Caroline Wozniacki spoiled Julia Goerges' title defence with an emphatic 6-1 6-4 trouncing in their quarter-final tie.

Earlier on Friday, American Jessica Pegula became the first woman into the semi-finals.

The 25-year-old ousted Alize Cornet 6-0 3-2 on Friday when the struggling Frenchwoman retired, complaining of an upper right thigh issue.

Pegula, a New York state native, won her first tournament in 2019 and will make her Australian Open debut later in January.

She will play Caroline Wozniacki for a place in the Auckland final.


Serena Williams v Amanda Anisimova

Caroline Wozniacki v Jessica Pegula. 

And in the doubles draw, fan favourites Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams are through to the final after beating Belgium duo Alison Van Uytvanack and Kirsten Flipkens 7-6, 6-2. 

They will take on either Asia Muhammad and Taylor Townsend or Coco Gauff and Catherne Mcnally.