Seven-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams rolled into the third round of this year’s event with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Serbia’s Nina Stojanovic on Wednesday.
Awaiting Serena in the third round is Anastasia Potapova. The Russian ousted Hungary’s Timea Babos 6-2, 6-4 in her second round match.
“I couldn’t feel better than now,” said Potapova. “It feels very good to be, for the first time, in the third round, especially here in Australia, the first Slam of the year. That’s incredible feelings.”
Serena’s older sister Venus saw her Australian Open run come to an end, as the two-time finalist fought through an ankle and knee injury but wasn’t able to play anywhere near her best tennis as Sara Errani won 6-1, 6-0.
Down 1-5 in the first set, Venus rolled her ankle badly as she approached the net and was in clear pain, hardly able to put any weight on the leg. She somehow fought through the pain to finish the match, but was significantly hobbled.
Errani will play Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei, who knocked off Canada’s Bianca Andreescu 6-3, 6-2.
Naomi Osaka posted a 6-2, 6-3 win over France’s Caroline Garcia, putting the third-seed into a matchup with 27th seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia. Second-seed Simona Halep outlasted Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 to advance.
“I expected that she’s going to play very hard and very strong. I know that she’s a very tough opponent and I expected it to be a difficult match, but it was more than I thought,” Halep said afterwards.
The Romanian will play 32nd seeded Russian Veronika Kudermetova next.
Top-seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic was given all he could handle by American Frances Tiafoe, but in the end Djokovic was just too strong and advanced with a 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-6(2), 6-3 victory.
“It was a very tough match, very warm and a lot of long rallies,” said Djokovic. “I want to say that Frances put up a really good fight. The matches are only going to get tougher. I was fortunate to get through the third set today. It was anyone’s game and Frances served great.”
Djokovic plays another American next in 27th seed Taylor Fritz, who outlasted his friend Reilly Opelka 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-2.
Former champion Stan Wawrinka was knocked out by Marton Fucsovics, who outlasted the 17th seeded Swiss 7-5, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 7-6(9).
“After playing four hours, I was not thinking about any tactics or how can I win this point,” said Fucsovics. “I just wanted to survive somehow, put every ball back, fight until the end. Against Stan, it is not easy. He is a very experienced player. He won three Grand Slams, but today I was stronger mentally.”
In the third round Fucsovics will play 14th seeded Canadian Milos Raonic.
Australia’s Nick Kyrgios hung on to win a five-set match against 27th seed Ugo Humbert to set up a match against third-seed Dominic Thiem.
Click Here to see the full results from Day Three at the 2021 Australian Open.