Australian Open 2019: It was an extremely awkward moment for Serena Williams as she walked out for her 4th round match against top seed Simona Halep. Williams walked out to the Rod Laver Arena on welcome meant for Simona. On realising she had erred, she quickly turned back and walked back into the dugout. Wearing big headphones, Serena walked to the court as, “Please welcome to the court, world No.1…” was announced. The tie is in some corners being labeled as the finals before the finals as the heavyweight’s clash. Serena Williams eventually won the high-octane match  6-1, 4-5, 6-4.

“I haven’t played the world number one since I’ve been back, I don’t think. So it will be good. I’ll be ready,” Serena said prior to the match.

“I’ve been edging closer for probably like a decade now. I’m not even dealing with that right now.”

“I have nothing to lose,” Simona said ahead of facing Serena.

“I’m playing against a great champion. It’s going to a bigger challenge but I’m ready to face it.”

Meanwhile, Serena last won an Australian Open in 2017, kicked off her campaign against T Maria, whom she crushed 6-0, 6-2 to move ahead in the tournament. Then she locked horns with E Bouchard, who she beat in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.

Brisbane International champion Karolina Pliskova – who maintained her unbeaten run in 2019 with a 6-3, 6-1 win over No.18 seed Garbine Muguruza will now face her biggest challenge as she locks horns with Serena.