Serena Williams was determined to avoid the upset bug that bit the men’s World No.2 Novak Djokovic and the women’s No.3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska . And she did, coming out on top over Lucie Safarova in what was a high-quality encounter featuring a combined tally of 23 aces and 59 winners against 39 errors. But the 6-3 6-4 result didn’t come without a fight.
Serena’s meeting with Safarova came just two days after facing former world No.7 Belinda Bencic to begin her Australian Open 2017 campaign. Safarova, who like Bencic is a former top-10 player, is far better than her current ranking of 61st suggests. Next up for the six-time champion is fellow American Nicole Gibbs.
Gibbs, moved through to the third round after defeating another American player Irina Falconi 6-4 6-2. It is
only the second time that she has reached the final 32 of a Grand Slam and the first at Melbourne Park.
Venus Williams romped to a 6-3 6-2 victory over Stefanie Voegele, the world No.112, a player who had spent nearly eight hours on court already after four straight three-setters to get through qualifying and her opening round. Next up for the 36-year old is China’s Ying-Ying Duan.
Coco Vandeweghe survived an emotional match against Pauline Parmentier 6-4, 7-6 (5), and will now face the red-hot Canadian Eugenie Bouchard who overcame the early challenge of China’s Peng Shuai on Wednesday to win 7-6(5) 6-2. Bouchard beat Vandeweghe in their only other encounter at Indian Wells in 2015 but they’ve each come a long way since then.
Alison Riske, seeded No. 42, recorded an upset win over No.20 seed Zhang Shaui to advance to her first-ever Grand Slam 3rd Round.
Qualifier Jennifer Brady, ranked No.116, snatched a shock 2-6 7-6 (7/3) 10-8 victory over Britain’s No.2 seed Heather Watson in her first ever grand slam main draw. Watson had five chances to win the match in the final set but was unable to take advantage of them. Next up for Brady is Russia’s 14th seed Elena Vesnina, who was a surprise semi-finalist at Wimbledon last year.