On an action-packed Friday in Melbourne, that followed a no-play Thursday, Serena Williams defeated fellow American Danielle Collins to reach the semifinals of the Yarra Valley Classic, but soon afterwards withdrew from the tournament citing a right shoulder injury.
It’s unlikely that we should be worried about Williams’ health. She’s probably just giving herself room to breathe ahead of the Australian Open which starts in a couple of days. Even the fact that she entered the Yarra Valley Classic is unusual, as she tends to not compete in the week before a major.
After her 6-2 4-6 10-6 quarterfinal win over Collins, Williams said that she felt good to make it through the match in a tiebreaker. There was no mention of her injury. By the way, don’t be confused by the score. Because there are too many matches on the schedule ahead of the Australian Open, starting this Friday all matches are played in the following format: best of two regular tiebreak sets with a 10 point match tiebreak if required for a final set.
Playing her first match in nearly a full calendar year, Ashleigh Barty made the Yarra Valley Classic semifinals with a 7-5 2-6 10-4 win over Shelby Rogers. After receiving a walkover into the final, Barty will face either Garbine Muguruza or Marketa Vondrousova. In a rematch of the 2020 Australian Open final, Muguruza rolled past Sofia Kenin 6-2 6-2 to make the semis, having dropped just nine games over three matches.