Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Serena Williams knocked off top-seeded Simona Halep to advance to the 2019 Australian Open quarterfinals on Monday in Melbourne.
Williams -- the No. 16 seed -- won the round of 16 match 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 to advance to her third consecutive Australian Open quarterfinals. The 23-time Grand Slam champion has seven Australian Open singles crowns. Monday's match was completed in 1:47.
"I think overall I'm hanging in there," Williams told reporters. "Overall, I'm solid. I can definitely go to a new level. I have to if I want to stay in the tournament."
Halep went up 1-0 in the first set but Williams came roaring back with six consecutive points. Halep went up 1-0 again in the second set, but was able to hold off Williams. She won the final two points of the set after Williams tied it at 4-4.
"That's why she is No. 1," Williams said. "She literally lifted her game to a new level. I didn't. I kinda stayed at the same level and I should have lifted my game as well."
Halep also took an early lead in the final set, but Williams was too strong. The Romanian led 3-2 before Williams tied it at 3-3. Williams then went up 5-3 before Halep got back a point. But Williams put her opponent away down the stretch. Halep hit a return wide to give Williams match point.
Williams had nine aces and 44 winners in the victory. She battles No. 7 Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals on Tuesday in Melbourne.
Elina Svitolina also beat Madison Keys in three sets to advance to the quarterfinals. Naomi Osaka defeated Anastasija Sevastova in her fourth round match. Pliskova beat Garbine Muguruza to reach the quarterfinals. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Petra Kvitova, Ashleigh Barty and Danielle Collins also moved onto the quarterfinals by winning their fourth round matches.