Serena Williams gained revenge for her Wimbledon final loss to Simona Halep to set up a blockbuster Australian Open semi-final against Naomi Osaka.

Halep produced a sensational performance to stun Williams 6-2 6-2 at the All England Club in 2019 – one of four grand slam finals the American has lost since winning her 23rd major singles title in Melbourne four years ago.

Williams began this match with a determination to ensure there was no repeat and powered her way to a 6-3 6-3 victory.

In her on-court interview, she said: "I definitely think this is the best match this tournament and obviously I had to going up against the number two in the world. I knew that I had to do better and that's what I did so I’m excited."

The quality of the second set did not match the first, with Williams making a host of unforced errors, but Halep could not take advantage.

Osaka will surely not be so generous in what will be a first slam meeting between the pair since their notorious US Open final in 2018, when Williams received a game penalty for verbally abusing umpire Carlos Ramos and Osaka’s first major title was accompanied by deafening boos and whistles.

Since then the Japanese player has won two more slam titles and is unbeaten on the biggest stage since last year’s Australian Open.

Williams shot out of the blocks here, moving into a 2-0 lead with a combination of extreme power and incredible angles.

Halep fought back to level but Williams forged ahead again and confidently served out the set.

The 39-year-old, who is once again two matches away from finally equalling Margaret Court’s record of 24 slam singles titles, made a shaky start to the second set, spraying unforced errors as Halep moved into a 3-1 lead.

But the Romanian was unable to find the level to put doubts into Williams’ mind and the 10th seed finished the match with a run of five games in a row.

Naomi Osaka was a comfortable winner

Earlier on Tuesday, Naomi Osaka had used her experience of previous struggles to swiftly dispatch Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei and seal her place in the last four. 

Osaka's 6-2 6-2 win over her unorthodox opponent provided a stark contrast to her victory over same player en route to the title in 2019, when she had been forced to rally from a set and a break behind. 

And her 66-minute success will also came as a welcome relief after the tumult of the previous round, when she saved two match points before squeezing past Garbine Muguruza. 

Osaka said in her on-court interview: "I'm really happy with how I played - every time I play her it's such a battle and despite the score it was another battle for me. 

"It makes me a bit more calm, just knowing that even though my back was severely against the wall I still had opportunities. 

"Even today when I had two match points and she saved them both, normally I feel like I would have panicked but today I was pretty calm." 

The third seed might have been forgiven for anticipating another difficult day when she struggled to hold her serve in the opening game of the match. 

Hsieh, at 35 the oldest player to make her debut in a grand slam quarter-final in the Open era, mixes spins and slices to such effect that even Osaka admitted pre-match that she often "could not fathom" her opponent's shot selection. 

But an early break settled Osaka's nerves and she took control of the match behind an unerring first serve, seizing on a series of stray shots from her opponent to close out the opening set in 36 minutes. 

Despite her dominance Osaka will have been acutely aware of the danger of making any assumptions, with four of her five previous career meetings with Hsieh having gone to a deciding set. 

An early break at the start of the second set sent Osaka closer to the line but, ever unpredictable, Hsieh rallied on the cusp of defeat, producing two superb winners to save consecutive match points, before finally succumbing to Osaka's third opportunity. 

Top seed and home hope Ashleigh Barty takes on Czech Karolina Muchova and Americans Jennifer Brady and Jessica Pegula face off in the remaining quarter-finals tomorrow.