Serena Williams is one match closer to a historic 24th career major after making light work of Eugenie Bouchard to move into the Australian Open third round.
A seven-time winner at Melbourne Park, the 37-year-old blasted past the Canadian 6-2 6-2 in one hour and 10 minutes on Thursday night at Rod Laver Arena.
Williams will now meet Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska – who downed Carla Suarez Navarro in the second round – before a potential fourth-round clash with either world No.1 Simona Halep or sister Venus.
Halep and Venus will go head-to-head in a blockbuster showdown in the last 32.
In a ruthless showing, Serena broke serve six times and cracked 20 winners – double that of Bouchard – but said it wasn’t as easy as the score suggested.
“Genie has been to the finals of Wimbledon. She has been to the semifinals of other grand slams so I said ‘alright Serena, you have to come out hot and firing’,” Williams said.
Bouchard also said playing on a big court against a top player felt a bit new since she hadn’t done it often recently. But encouraged by her form. Feels she’s playing better than he rank. “Today shows me what I need to work on. It just sucks I had to play her in 2R (laughs)."
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) January 17, 2019
“I’m not always confident. I just do the work. I go out there and I play the best I can. I work hard and see what happens. That’s it. Today is the same. I feel like I’ve done a lot of the work. We’ll see what happens.
“I think what the key is just going out there and playing really well, just doing the best that you can do.”
Seeded 16 at this year’s Open, the American superstar missed the chance to defend her 2017 title after the birth of her daughter Olympia but seems determined to make amends having dropped just six games in her opening two matches.
She beat Tatjana Maria 6-0 6-2 in the first round in just 49 minutes.
“I haven’t had many matches since last year but it’s okay. I got time to spend with my daughter so that mattered the most to me,” she said.
“I have always been told that they grow up so fast. I want to be able to take that time and say I was able to spend it with her.”
Williams can draw level with Australia’s Margaret Court for the most Grand Slam titles if she wins a seventh Australian Open.
23 February 2019
Stefanos Tsitsipas will meet David Goffin in the semifinals of the ATP event in Marseille ... More
18 February 2019
Gael Monfils beat his training partner Stan Wawrinka 6-3 1-6 6-2 on Sunday at the ABN Amro... More
20 February 2019
Juan Martin del Potro made a triumphant return to tennis on Tuesday night in Delray Beach ... More