Williams advances to Australian Open quarters

Williams advances to Australian Open quarters
January 21, 2013, 5:03 am
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Serena Williams of the US hits a forehand return to Russia's Maria Kirilenko during their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

(APWF)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Serena Williams continued her run toward a third consecutive major title, beating Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 6-0 on Monday to reach the quarterfinals at the Australian Open.

Williams has lost only one match since her first-round exit at the French Open last year. Since then, she has won Wimbledon, Olympic gold, the U.S. Open, the season-ending WTA championships and the Brisbane International title.

Her 57-minute win over Kirilenko extended her current winning streak to 20 matches.

The 31-year-old can become the oldest woman to hold the world No. 1-ranking by winning her sixth Australian Open title. She next plays 19-year-old American Sloane Stephens, who reached the quarterfinals at a major for the first time with a 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 win earlier Monday over Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia.