Melbourne: Serena Williams is taking nothing for granted against Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open quarter-finals despite her dominant record against the Russian.
Serena Williams celebrates her win over Russia's Margarita Gaspatryan. Pic/Getty Images and Maria Sharapova returns to Switzerland's Belinda Bencic in Melbourne yesterday. Pic/AFP
Williams has won 17 matches in a row against Sharapova and 18 out of 20 overall, with her last defeat coming 12 years ago in the WTA Championships.
They have met three times in Melbourne where again Williams boasts a perfect record, winning in 2005, 2007 and the final last year.
It means the American, who is gunning for a record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam title, is hot favourite heading into Tuesday's meeting.
Williams booked her spot in the last eight with a comfortable 6-2, 6-1 victory over Russian Margarita Gasparyan and she expects a tough test from her next opponent.
"She always brings something new and something special. She's very consistent, as well," Williams said.
"She knows how to be a player that's always consistently winning and training and working hard and winning matches."
A chink of light for Sharapova is that Williams can sometimes struggle under the weight of expectation as shown by her shock exit at last year's US Open when she had been expected to close out a calendar Grand Slam.
Sharapova's passage into the quarter-finals was less comfortable as she had to be at her very best to beat talented Swiss Belinda Bencic 7-5, 7-5.