Sharapova, Serena set for semis clash in Brisbane
World No 1 and defending champion Williams saw off ninth seed Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets, beating the Slovakian 6-3, 6-3, but Sharapova was made to work a little harder by Kaia Kanepi for her victory.
Maria Sharapova waves to the spectators after her win. Pic/AFP
Kanepi took the first set, but Sharapova battled back to claim the match 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Sharapova has her work cut out to make it through to the final as she has lost 14 of her 16 career meetings with Williams.
The Russian said: “I haven’t had a lot of success against her in the past. But it’s the first tournament of the year. You always hope that you can go out and give yourself a chance to do better next time.”
The other semi-final will see second seed Victoria Azarenka play Jelena Jankovic, the fourth seed.
Both players were taken to deciding sets by their opponents before going through, with Azarenka defeating Stefanie Voegele 6-4, 6-7 (7/9), 6-1 while Jankovic battled back from a set down to beat Angelique Kerber 6-7 (8/10) 6-3 6-1.