On the first day of quarterfinal matches at the Australian Open, Venus Williams confidently defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Coco Vandeweghe thrashed Garbine Muguruza.
The first to draw blood in the opening quarterfinal was seed No.24 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, as after wasting a break point in the first game, the Russian converted her chance in the 13th-seeded Williams’ next service game. Still, even though that scenario happened twice in both sets, the seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams always quickly broke back, dressed more beautifully than ever in her EleVen Thika collection (the Glide Back Tank, Flutter 13″ Skort and Thika Visor). Even in the second-set tiebreak it was Pavlyuchenkova who was up first, but Williams recovered and won 6-4 7-6(3), as her opponent produced her ninth double fault in the match!
The 36-year-old Williams has now recorded her 50th victory at the Australian Open and the best thing is that she’s as driven as ever to grab the title at the tournament where her best showing was a runner-up finish to sister Serena in 2003:
I want to go further. I’m not happy with this.
In the second quarterfinal, unseeded Coco Vandeweghe followed up her win over world number one and defending champion Angelique Kerber with a crushing defeat of reigning French Open champion Garbine Muguruza, 6-4 6-0. The Spaniard was stunned by her opponent’s raised level:
I was surprised. I think she played unbelievable. Three times we played in the past, she didn’t show this level. Her serve, her shots were there. She barely missed.
The bottom-half set of quarterfinal matches is scheduled for Wednesday: Karolina Pliskova  vs. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni will be first on Rod Laver Arena, followed by Johanna Konta  vs. Serena Williams .