Australian Open – Serena through after easy win over Hantuchova

Australian Open – Serena through after easy win over Hantuchova

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Serena Williams powered past Daniela Hantuchova 6-3 6-3 at the Australian Open on Friday to advance to the fourth round.

The world number one had lost their only other encounter at Melbourne Park, in the third round in 2006 when the Slovak beat her in straight sets, but she made no mistake this time around.

Williams looked as if she was conserving energy and doing just enough to get through the match as the temperature touched 38 Celsius (100 Fahrenheit), and relied on her booming serve and blistering forehand to get her out of trouble on crucial points against the 31st seed.

The American, seeking her sixth Australian Open title, will now meet either Australian 17th seed Samantha Stosur or 14th-seeded SerbianAna Ivanovic, who play later on Rod Laver Arena, in the fourth round.

The win was a record 61st for Williams at the Australian Open, putting the American past Australian Margaret Court’s 60.

Williams defeated Romania’s Irina Spirlea, a former top 10 player, in her Melbourne Park debut in 1998 before being beaten in the second round by Venus.

“Felt good,” Williams, who practised on public courts in Compton, a tough inner-city suburb of Los Angeles, said of her first trip Down Under.

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