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Serena Williams vs. Madison Keys: Australian Open 2015 Semifinal Score, Reaction

Serena Williams of the U.S. watches her shot to Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
Serena Williams of the U.S. watches her shot to Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

(Bleacher Report) – For a moment, it appeared Madison Keys would make history by toppling two Williams sisters in as many days. Serena Williams‘ jaw-dropping serve and a nagging leg injury for Keys ensured her potential glory stayed in that fleeting moment.

Williams, the world No. 1, advanced to her first Australian Open Final in a half-decade Thursday, taking down the unseeded teenager Keys 7-6 (5), 6-2, in a match that was far more competitive than most expected at points.

Keys opened the match by breaking Williams’ first serve and rarely lost her edge from there, playing with a competitive zeal that often made her look like the aggressor. But the veteran Williams advanced by holding steady for her second straight match, using her first-serve advantage and limiting critical mistakes.

Williams hit 13 aces and won 71 percent of her serve opportunities, doing a better job of keeping her first serve in play than she has throughout the tournament. The top-seeded American nearly won a better percentage of her second-serve chances than her first—a stark deviation that allowed her to fight against an opponent who looked physically superior at points.

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