Not only did Serena Williams cruise into the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday evening, she reached another milestone as she earned her 60th career match win at the Australian Open – which ties her with Margaret Court’s tally in Melbourne prior the Open Era. She is now scheduled to meet Daniela Hantuchova in the third round in Melbourne, where they previously met eight years ago. The Williams vs Hantuchova Head to Head stands at 8-1 and Serena will be looking to extend that lead on Friday.
It was a thoroughly dominant performance from the top seed, as she hit a barrage of 24 winners and 10 aces, and dropping only three games in the entire match against Serbia’s Vesna Dolonc. The 6-1, 6-2 second round scoreline on improved her record to 52-1 in second round matches at Grand Slams. The world No. 1 also officially tied Court’s record for most match wins in Melbourne – a remarkable achievement for the American. Court is one of the five women in tennis history who hold more Grand Slams than Williams. She leads with 24 (prior to the Open Era), then Steffi Graf with 22 (Open Era Record), Helen Wills Moody with 19 and Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova with 18. Williams is currently at 17 Slam titles and is one win away from tying the 1980’s legends with 18.
“I was happy just to get that win under my belt and have a chance to go to the next round,” Williams said. “I think it was tough conditions out there. I think it keeps getting hotter and hotter. Every day is really hot. So it wasn’t the plan, but it just so happened like that, and I’m happy to get through.”
Williams is scheduled to meet No.31 seed Daniela Hantuchova, who defeated Karolina Pliskova in a gruelling battle that lasted three-hour and 13-minute. The third set alone was nearly two hours long and ended with a 6-3, 3-6, 12-10 scoreline. Hantuchova’s claim to fame is that in 2005, she completed the career grand slam in mixed doubles, becoming only the fifth female tennis player to do so.
Of their previous nine meeting on the professional tour, Williams holds an 8-1 lead over Hantuchova in their head-to-head series. It is interesting to note that Hantuchova’s only win over Williams came at the Australian Open eight years ago at the very same round. While eight years is a significant period of time, Williams is still at the head of the pack and does not appear to be slowing down. She will likely dominate the encounter and reach the fourth round with relative ease.
Prediction: Serena Williams in Straight Sets