Five-time champion Serena Williams has won more matches at the Australian Open than any other woman, notching career win No. 61 on Friday as she advanced to the fourth round with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Daniela Hantuchova on another scorching day at Melbourne Park.
Williams converted her fourth match point on No. 31-seeded Hantuchova’s serve. It was Williams’ 24th consecutive win on the tour back to August, and improved her career record to 61-8 at the Australian Open.
She equaled Margaret Court’s Australian Open mark of 60 wins with her second-round victory, and now has matched Lindsay Davenport’s record of 69 main-draw matches here in the Open era. The temperature hit 39 Celsius (102 Fahrenheit) during early play Friday and was expected to rise to 44 C (111 F).
Dellacqua Wins In Straight Sets (6-2 6-4): Nice win by the local girl, she's gone for her shots and beaten a fairly hard-bitten competitor in China's Jie Zheng who pulled a medical break when down 3-4 because she was a bit tired (and down a set and 3-4).
@caseydellacqua stoked after a great win to see her through to the fourth round #ausopen
This was old ground and new. Sam Stosur was defeated by Ana Ivanovic and so again decamped from her home tournament unsatisfyingly early. But this was not a choke. She lost in three sets – 6-7, 6-4, 6-2 - to a former world number one who played exceptional tennis, if like Stosur a little phlegmatically, but who managed to better sustain her moments of composure.
"At the moment it's disappointing, but I have to say that I'm proud of the way I was able to play out there," she said. "If you're going to lose, for sure it's better when you don't feel like you beat yourself and you kind of did things that you know you shouldn't or whatever it is. So, again, yeah, I'm disappointed, but I can still look back on that match and think that I played well and got beaten by a good player." She added: "It's disappointing. I thought, you know, I was playing well enough to get through the next round." Which was interesting, for her next round opponent would have been Serena Williams.
Maria Sharapova recovered from the longest, hottest match of her career to beat Alize Cornet 6-1, 7-6 (6) on Saturday and reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.
Sharapova is slowing finding her groove in her second tournament back after a prolonged break for a right shoulder injury. She had six double-faults and 29 of her total 35 unforced errors in the second set after breezing through the first against Cornet.
"After the last match, I'm just happy to get through this," Sharapova said. "Definitely need to step it up. I was lucky to get through the other day; now that I'm in the second week, I'm level."
The four-time major winner needed an ice bath after her second-round win but joked about needing a warm bath following her victory over Cornet.
"It's such a quick change," Sharapova said of the cooler conditions. "I think it's really welcome from all of us. Everyone that played a long match in those conditions is going to feel physically and emotionally tired, and that's the way it goes. You just have to find a way to get through it ... that's what I did."