Serena Williams stayed right on track in her quest for a 24th Grand Slam title with a 6-2, 6-1 battering of 18-year-old Dayana Yastremska on Rod Laver Arena on Saturday.
The 37-year-old, who lifted her seventh Australian Open title in 2017, has been impressive so far, dropping no more than nine games in all three matches she’s played.
Yastremska, meanwhile, defeated the experienced Sam Stosur and Carla Suarez Navarro in only her second Grand Slam main draw, but couldn’t match the superiority of Williams, who wrapped up the win in 67 minutes.
“I’m taking every match as it comes, but I’m playing as hard as I can, the best I can do and I love it out here,” said Williams.
Up next for Williams is a blockbuster fourth round showdown with either world number one, Simona Halep or her sister, Venus, and Serena can’t wait.
“Either way it will be a really intense match. I’m looking forward to it,” she said.
“I honestly would love to face the world No.1. At the same time I would love for Venus to win. I haven’t played the world No.1 since I’ve been back, I don’t think. It will be good, I’ll be ready for either opponent.”
Elsewhere, fourth seed and reigning US Open champion, Naomi Osaka staged a fascinating fightback against Su-Wei Hsieh, coming back from 7-5, 3-0 down to win 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 and stay on course for a second consecutive Grand Slam title.
“Uhm, I just thought I didn’t want to give up,” said Osaka, who will now face 13th seed, Anastasija Sevastova for a place in the quarterfinals.
Similarly, 6th seed, Elina Svitolina of Ukraine rallied back for a set down to beat Shuai Zhang 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in nearly three hours of epic tennis.
Svitolina will next face America’s Madison Keys, who defeated Elise Mertens 6-3, 6-2.