Serena Williams advanced into the fourth round of the Australian Open with a straight sets victory over Daniela Hantuchova 6-3 6-3, and set a new record in the process.
The five-time Australian Open champion won her 61st match at the tournament, breaking the record held by Margaret Court. She also equalled Lindsay Davenport’s record of 69 main-draw matches in Melbourne, so that is another record she will break during her next match, just by showing up to play Ana Ivanovic, who knocked out Sam Stosur.
Having taken only 1 hour and 20 minutes to defeat the No. 31 seed, Williams later withdrew from the doubles, meaning only one exposure to the heatwave that has been such a talking point at the Australian Open this year. Today was slightly cooler at only 102F during Williams’ match and 108F in mid-afternoon, compared to 112F yesterday.
William’s main threat to reach the final, Li Na – herself a two-time finalist – was on court for two hours and 37 minutes as she battled past the No. 26 seed Lucie Safarova. Ninth seed Angelique Kerber also went through, beating American Alison Riske, and will play 28 seed Flavia Pennetta.
On the men’s side of the draw, David Ferrer advanced into the third round in straight sets, and will play Florian Mayer in the next round, while No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych also advanced in straight sets and will play Kevin Anderson in the fourth round.