(January 22, 2016) Six-time champion Serena Williams moved into the round of 16 at the Australian Open with a dominant 6-1, 6-1 win in 45 minutes defeating Russian teenager Daria Kasatkina on Friday.
“I definitely think I played better today,” said the defending champion. “Everything I’ve been trying to work on was kind of clicking today. I thought I played pretty well in the other matches. My first match I thought I gave a great effort. My second match I thought, under the circumstances, I thought I played well. Hopefully with each match I can just do better.”
Williams next faces another Russian, Margarita Gasparyan for a place in the quarterfinals. Gasparyan defeated Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-4.
Williams talked about her next opponent to media:
“She has a great forehand up the line. She has a good serve. She mixes up the ball well. I thought she played really well at Wimbledon. She was fearless.
“So, you know, I think she qualified at Wimbledon. She’s obviously made leaps and bounds since then, gained a lot of confidence. She’s here to play well and win. So am I, so we’ll see what happens.”
Defending champion Novak Djokovic put in a straight sets performance advancing to the fourth round with a 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (6) over No. 28 seed Andreas Seppi. Djokovic playing his first match in Margaret Court Arena, breezed by Seppi in the first set but had to save set points in the third set.
“So I think that I started very well,” Djokovic said. “A set and then a couple of breakpoints early in the second. Didn’t use that. He started serving well. I backed up half a step back. He started playing more aggressive tennis. Not as many unforced errors.
“I think I served my way out of trouble several times. But, you know, certainly I must be pleased with a straight-set win because both sets, especially the third, could have gone a different way.
“But I’m still not very satisfied, you know, with certain parts of the second and third set. I think I could have done better. But, again, I played a quality player who took out Federer last year here and who has been on the tour for many years. He is not afraid to play big tennis on a big stage. He likes it, I think.
“We practiced a lot, so we know each other’s game well. It was a great test. It was a physical match, a lot of exchanges from the baseline. I’m just glad to go through.”
The world No. 1 has now reached the final 16 in Melbourne for the 10th straight year.
Djokovic plays 14th seed Gilles Simon next.
The biggest upset on the day on the men’s side came when U.S. Open champion 12th seed Marin Cilic lost 6-4, 7-6 (5), 7-5 to Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round.
Bautista Agut has now equaled his best performance at a major. The Spaniard, seeded 24th will take on sixth seed Tomas Berdych in the fourth round.
Tomas Berdych won 6-3, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 over Australian No. 29 Nick Kyrgios.