Williams through after slow start



Serena Williams stretches for a shot
Serena Williams has not dropped a set in her opening three matches at Melbourne Park

Serena Williams overcame a sluggish begin to beat Anastasia Potapova and attain the Australian Open fourth spherical.

Tenth seed Williams, bidding for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, got here via 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 in opposition to the 101st-ranked Russian.

Nonetheless, the American had trailed 5-Three in an error-strewn first set, and he or she needed to save two set factors earlier than dialling again in to win.

Naomi Osaka additionally superior after a cagey match in opposition to Ons Jabeur of Tunisia.

Third seed Osaka and her opponent struggled for rhythm but it surely was the Japanese who prevailed 6-Three 6-2.

Osaka will face two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza subsequent, whereas Williams performs seventh seed Aryna Sabalenka for a spot within the quarter-finals.

She’s going to face a troublesome check in opposition to big-hitting Belarusian Sabalenka, who beat American Ann Li 6-Three 6-1.

“I got here out of the blocks not like I’ve been earlier than,” mentioned the 39-year-old, who had dropped solely 5 video games in her earlier two matches.

“Nevertheless it’s all about surviving and enjoying higher each spherical.”


That is the final day that crowds will likely be in attendance at Melbourne Park earlier than the state of Victoria enters a five-day lockdown on Saturday.

As much as 30,000 followers had been allowed in every day however the event will proceed behind closed doorways after an outbreak of coronavirus in a lodge.

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka was interrupted by a butterfly throughout her match in opposition to Ons Jabeur

Final yr’s finalist Muguruza wanted simply 58 minutes to beat Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas 6-1 6-1.

Spaniard Muguruza has misplaced simply 10 video games in her opening three matches.

Taiwanese Hsieh Su-wei reached the fourth spherical for the third time in her profession with a 6-Four 2-6 7-5 victory over Sara Errani of Italy.

Hseih, who beat eighth seed Bianca Andreescu within the second spherical, trailed 5-Three within the decider earlier than profitable 4 successive video games to advance.

She’s going to play Czech Marketa Vondrousova subsequent, after the 19th seed beat Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-2 6-4.

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