After winning a bagel set against Van Uytvanck in her opening match in Melbourne, world No. 1 Serena Williams followed up with another strong performance – and a bagel set – to find herself in the third round of the Australian Open with relative ease. She will next meet Elina Svitolina, whom she encountered once previously nearly three years ago in Fed Cup action. Williams leads the head-to-head series 1-0.
The top seed came up against Vera Zvonareva in her second round match-up and swatted the challenge away without much effort. The American won the match 7-5, 6-0 in a total of 1 hour and 25 minutes. She hit 32 winners, 5 aces and won 70% of her first service points.
“I’m feeling better every day. I think in beginning of the tournament every player feels a little sluggish; at least I do. Now I’m feeling like I’m starting to hopefully feel better.”
While Williams took part in a simple, straightforward match on court, her opponent, Elina Svitolina, had a much more difficult outing against Nicole Gibbs. The No. 26 seed was pushed to a tiebreak in the opening set, which she won, then dropped down a double break in the second set, which she clawed her way back from – swatting set point after set point in the process. Eventually, she was able to push back to 5-5, then they each broke each other again for 6-6, which was where the Ukrainian jumped to a 6-2 lead before closing out the match 7-6(3), 7-6(6).
This marks just the second time that Williams and Svitolina meet on the professional tour, with Williams leading the head-to-head series 1-0. While the Ukrainian has looked impressive over the past few days in Melbourne, she is no match for an in-form Serena.
Prediction: Serena Williams in Three Sets