A straight-sets victory earned Venus Williams safe passage through to the Australian Open third round, as the former world number one quietly went about her business at Melbourne Park.
Williams, a finalist at the Open in 2003, is seeded 13 and she encountered little trouble in defeating Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele in an hour and 23 minutes, winning 6-3, 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena in what is her 73rd campaign at a major.
The triumph sets up a clash for the 36-year-old with fellow American Varvara Lepchenko or China’s Ying-Ying Duan in the last 32, but she will appear again on day three when she teams up with sister Serena in the opening round of the women’s doubles.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s 11th seed Elina Svitolina wastes little time in racing into the third round with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over American Julia Boserup in 76 minutes on Margaret Court Arena to arrange a meeting with 24th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
“I’m very happy. I didn’t play my best. I was fighting and trying to find my game but at the end it was getting better and better and I’m glad I won,” Svitolina said.
Russian Pavlyuchenkova had beaten compatriot Natalia Vikhlyantseva 6-2, 6-2 on Show Court Two shortly before Svitolina wrapped up her match with a backhand winner.
In the men’s draw, fifth seed Kei Nishikori won a battle of the baseliners to move through to the third round in Melbourne for the seventh consecutive year.
Nishikori was broken twice in the second set but consistent pressure on Jeremy Chardy’s serve took him through 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and 20 minutes.
Frenchman Chardy often forced Nishikori wide of the court’s tram tracks but will rue missed opportunities, having racking up 53 unforced errors.