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Australian Open: Sabalenka survives as Serena Williams eases into third round

Aryna Sabalenka progressed to the third round in Melbourne for the second time in three years, defeating Daria Kasatkina, 7-6(5), 6-3.

Sabalenka, whose 15-match winning streak came to an end last week at the Gippsland Trophy, trailed the former world No. 10 for most of the first set but fought back to level in time for a tie-break.

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Despite 30 unforced errors to just four from Kasatkina, Sabalenka went on to lead with 22 winners of her own and withstood a second set surge from the Russian to ultimately advance in just under 90 minutes on the Margaret Court Arena.

Serena Williams eases into the third round

Australian Open 2021 order of play: Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Naomi  Osaka in day three action - Eurosport

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Serena Williams put on a clinical performance to ease past Nina Stojanovic, 6-3, 6-0 to book her spot in the third round of the Australian Open at Rod Laver Arena for the 19th time in her 20 appearances at the event. Serena was challenged in the first set before winning 6-3 but she went to a new level after that and Stojanovic was powerless to slow her down.

The former World No.1 needed only one hour and nine-minute to see off World No.99 Stojanovic, the only Serb inside the Top 100 of the WTA singles rankings, by winning a tremendous 86 percent of her first-service points, and saving the three break points she faced during the clash.

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Serena Williams praised the crowd and her ability to think less and play more after a straight-sets win over Nina Stojanovic from Serbia.

She said:

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She pushed me very hard and she played really well so I had to really fight for all the games.

It’s always good to see young players like her come out and so well because it’s exciting for women’s tennis.

I wasn’t thinking so much in the second as I was in the first. I kind of just let go and saw what happened. I did catch the end of the Super Bowl! It was amazing. It was pretty cool to watch Tom Brady win it was pretty cool.

I have to go home and get ready and to the best [for the next round]. I am happy to be out here and have fun and to be playing in front of a crowd again is really cool. Every day is just fun.

Serena Williams will face promising 19-year-old Russian Anastasia Potapova, who dispatched Timea Babos of Hungary, 6-2, 6-4, earlier on Wednesday.

19-year-old Potapova, the 2016 junior Wimbledon singles champion, had also upset No.24 seed Alison Riske in this week’s opening round, en route to her first third-round appearance in a major.

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Kayson Papa Nketsiah Jr

He aims to create something brilliant daily. Eager to learn more. He uses his free time to get better at what interests him, whether it's entertainment, gaming, or even something entirely new

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