Serena Williams made quick work of Eugenie Bouchard in the Australian Open second-round on Thursday as the 16thseed needed one hour and 10 minutes to down the Canadian 6-2, 6-2 and advance.
“It wasn’t an easy match tonight,” said Serena. “Genie has been to the finals of Wimbledon and the semifinals of other Grand Slams, so I said, ‘You’ve got to come out hot, come out firing.’”
That’s just what she did. Serena was all over Bouchard’s serve, setting up 13 break points and converting on six of them. She moves into a matchup with Ukrainian teenager Dayan Yastremska who upset 23rd seed Carla Suarez-Navarro.
Serena’s older sister Venus secured her spot in the Melbourne third-round with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 win over France’s Alize Cornet. Her win sets up an intriguing matchup with top-seed Simona Halep.
Halep got a stiff test from American Sofia Kenin, who has been playing the best tennis of her young career to start the year. Halep managed to come through with a 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4 victory.
“I have no idea how I won this tonight. It’s so tough to explain,” said Halep. “She’s an amazing player, and it was really difficult to stay there for every ball and run so much. I just fought because I wanted to win.”
Garbine Muguruza and Johanna Konta made history as their match didn’t start until after 12:30 a.m. local time, making it the latest start time for a match at the Australian Open. The two would end up battling until after 3:00 a.m., with the 18th seeded Muguruza advancing with a 6-4, 6-7(3), 7-5 win.
Muguruza moves on to play Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky, who was a straight-set winner over qualifier Natalia Vikhlyantseva.
Seventh-seed Karolina Pliskova came back from a set down to beat American Madison Brengle 4-6, 6-1, 6-0. She plays 27th seed Camila Giorgi next.
Defending U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka rolled into the third-round with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Tamar Zidansek. The fourth-seeded Osaka will meet Su-Wei Hsieh for a spot in the fourth round.