MELBOURNE — It’s a rare thing for Serena Williams to play a tournament the week leading into one of the tennis Grand Slams.
Now that she’s at Melbourne Park, though, she’s making the most of her time in the Yarra Valley Classic to prepare for next week’s Australian Open.
The 23-time major champion beat Tsvetana Pironkova 6-1, 6-4 on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals. She’s still on track for a semifinal match against top-ranked Ash Barty.
Williams had a tough win over Pironkova at last year’s U.S. Open, and then withdrew from their scheduled match at the French Open