Venus Williams in action against Alize Cornet during their women's second round match of the Australian Open. Photo: Hamish Blair/EPA

MELBOURNE – Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams made a late charge into the Australian Open third round Thursday, grinding out a win in her second three-set victory of the tournament.

The unseeded 38-year-old American came back strongly to beat Alize Cornet of France 6-3, 4-6, 6-0, setting up a meeting with top seed Simona Halep.

Williams, who played her first Australian Open in 1998, said she drew energy from the Melbourne Park crowd in the deciding set against world number 36 Cornet.

Alize Cornet of France in action against Venus Williams. Photo: Mark Dadswell/EPA
Alize Cornet of France in action against Venus Williams. Photo: Mark Dadswell/EPA

"The first two sets were so tough and in the second I felt I was controlling the points but just falling a little bit short," she said.

"So I tried to do the same (in the third set) and not fall a little bit short. It worked out."

The veteran has reached the final at Melbourne Park twice, most recently in 2017 when she lost to sister Serena.

The siblings could meet again in the quarter-finals if results go their way.

Agence France-Presse (AFP)