- Australian Open, Day Four
Serena and Azarenka march on
Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka breezed into the third round of the Australian Open with comfortable wins on Rod Laver Arena.
Williams, the pre-tournament favourite, came into the contest under an injury cloud after rolling her ankle in her opening match. She moved a little gingerly early on, but warmed to her task and proved much too good for Garbine Muguruza.
At 19, Muguruza could have been forgiven for being overawed on the big stage but she showed no signs of nerves in her first meeting with Williams.
Muguruza got a look at a break point in the sixth game, but she could not convert as Williams turned on the class on serve.
The Spaniard was not afraid to go for her shots and tested Williams from the back of the court, but the No. 3 seed's serving was imperious - she dropped just five points behind it in the opening set.
Williams broke the resistance of Muguruza when claiming a break of serve in the opening game of the second set. Muguruza had chances in a game that lasted 18 minutes but could not put them away and was broken.
A second break swiftly followed and it teed Williams up to race through the remainder of the contest and secure a 6-2 6-0 win - with victory sealed with a 10th ace.
Ayumi Morita is up next for Williams following her impressive 6-2 6-0 win over Annika Beck.
Azarenka produced a commanding display to take care of Eleni Daniilidou 6-1 6-0.
Greek world No. 94 Daniilidou had decent support on Rod Laver Arena, but her confidence was eroded by poor serving early on. Four double faults and a 60% first-serve success rate allowed Azarenka to take command.
Azarenka did not pass up the gift and roared through the opening set in 24 minutes. Daniilidou improved in the second set, hitting more consistently from the back of the court, and Azarenka was not aided by a time violation meted out by umpire Carlos Ramos, but it did not derail the No. 1 seed who wrapped up victory in 55 minutes.
Jamie Hampton will be Azarenka's third round opponent following her 6-1 6-2 win over Luksika Kumkhum.
Roberta Vinci is a potential fourth-round opponent for Azarenka and she breezed into the third round with a 6-3 6-2 win over Akgul Amanmuradova. Elena Vesnina will face Vinci in round three following her 6-4 6-2 win over Varvara Lepchenko.
Caroline Wozniacki eased into the third round with a 6-1 6-4 win over Donna Vekic and her reward is a meeting with Lesia Tsurenko who was a 7-5 6-3 winner over Daria Gavrilova.
The No. 14 seed Maria Kirilenko was made to work hard before seeing off Shuai Peng 7-5 6-2. She will face Yanina Wickmayer who edged out Jana Cepelova.