Australian Open

Serena surges on at Oz Open

2016-01-20 06:39
Serena Williams. (File, AFP)

Melbourne - Dominant world No 1 and defending champion Serena Williams powered into the Australian Open third round on Wednesday with a straight-sets demolition of Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei.

The six-time Melbourne Park winner, who is gunning to equal Steffi Graf's Open-era record of 22 Grand Slam titles, blitzed Hsieh 6-1, 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena.

She next faces either Russian Daria Kasatkina with a potential quarter-final clash against arch-rival Maria Sharapova awaiting.

"She was definitely a tricky opponent but it was a good match for me to play someone like that. I needed that," said Williams, who made her Grand Slam debut in Melbourne in 1998.

"It all started here for me, that is where I played my first match in a Grand Slam, on this court, and I'm still going. It's an honour."

Williams gave herself an "A" for effort as she battled past Italy's Camila Giorgi in the first round, easing concerns over an injured knee that troubled her in the build-up, but she didn't need to try as hard against Hsieh.

On paper, the 90th ranked Taiwanese was no match for Williams. She reached the tournament second week as a qualifier in 2008, but had only won two matches here since.

Williams though was taking nothing for granted in only her second tour-level match since the US Open in September.

Again wearing a canary yellow pleated skirt and matching midriff-baring shirt, she was slow to get going with her serve rusty but she held on to go 1-0 in front.

Williams soon got into the groove and was moving well, pressuring the Hsieh serve with searing returns and a wild volley from the Taiwanese handed her the initial break to pull 2-0 clear.

The 34-year-old American, who dropped only three matches in 56 last season, came under pressure in the third game but held firm to maintain the advantage before Hsieh finally got on the scoreboard by holding serve for 1-3.

As Williams warmed to the task, Hsieh's Grand Slam inexperience came to the fore with the American breaking again to love then completing the set in 28 minutes.

Williams was consistently firing down serves 30 kph faster than Hsieh and it was taking its toll, with weak returns opening up the court for the top seed.

She made the most of her opportunities and sealed the match with an ace for a routine victory in one hour exactly.

Williams won three majors, the Australian and French Opens and Wimbledon, last year which took her to within one of Graf's long-time record of 22, and put her three clear of both Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.

Melbourne Park has been a happy hunting ground. She claimed her first Australian Open title in 2003, beating sister Venus in the final, and reached her sixth last year when she toppled arch-rival Sharapova.

Results from the Australian Open Grand Slam at Melbourne Park on Wednesday:

Men

Second round

Federico Del Bonis (ARG) bt Renzo Olivo (ARG) 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 6-7 (3/7), 7-5, 6-2

Gilles Simon (FRA x14) bt Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7/1), 4-6, 7-5

Kei Nishikori (JPN x7) bt Austin Krajicek (USA) 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3

Roger Federer (SUI x3) bt Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) 6-3, 7-5, 6-1

Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x27) bt Marco Trungelliti (ARG) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5

Dominic Thiem (AUT x19) bt Nicolas Almagro (ESP) 6-3, 6-1, 6-3

David Goffin (BEL x15) bt Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 6-4, 0-6, 6-4, 6-2

Marin Cilic (CRO x12) bt Albert Ramos (ESP) 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4)

Roberto Bautista (ESP x24) bt Dusan Lajovic (SRB) 4-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1

Tomas Berdych (CZE x6) bt Mirza Basic (BIH) 6-4, 6-0, 6-3

Women

Second round

Serena Williams (USA x1) bt Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) 6-1, 6-2

Darya Kasatkina (RUS) bt Ana Konjuh (CRO) 6-4, 6-3

Belinda Bencic (SUI x12) bt Timea Babos (HUN) 6-3, 6-3

Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) bt Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x23) 6-1, 7-5

Lauren Davis (USA) bt Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 7-6 (9/7) abandon

Maria Sharapova (RUS x5) bt Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 6-2, 6-1

Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) bt Wang Qiang (CHN) 6-3, 6-4

Roberta Vinci (ITA x13) bt Irina Falconi (USA) 6-2, 6-3

NEXT ON SPORT24X

French Open suffers washout

2016-05-30 14:15

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

As the Absa Premiership nears the Christmas break, a little over half the season remains. Who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Which teams will be relegated? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.