Serena Williams, a 6-time champion and celebrated tennis player, swiftly beat fellow American Nicole Gibbs to catapult to Australia Open fourth round in Melbourne.
The world number two, chasing a 23rd Grand Slam singles title, won 6-1 6-3 in 63 minutes on Rod Laver Arena, reports BBC Sport.
The 35-year-old will now proceed to play against Barbora Strycova from Czech. The former qualified after beating France’s Caroline Garcia 6-2 7-5.
While speaking about her match against the iconic tennis player, Strycova said that Williams is “human” and that makes her “beatable.”
“This is a Grand Slam, and we are talking that she already won, but I don’t like these talks,” she added.
Serena Williams victory was her 35th time that she and sister Venus have qualified for the last 16 at Grand Slam level.
‘Nothing to prove’
Williams said that she has nothing to prove and that her target in the tournament is obvious.
She also said that she was looking forward to face off with Strycova, terming the match a “bonus for her.”
Ekaterina Makarova from Russia had a dramatic match against Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia but eventually won 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 6-3.
Her next match will be against British number one Johanna Konta, who won 6-3 6-1 over Caroline Wozniaki.
Croatian veteran Mirjana Lucic-Baroni had a historic moment when she qualified for the last 16 for the first time in her 3-6 6-2 6-3 victory over Greece’s Maria Sakkari.
Before 2016, her only other Australian Open win was way back in 1998. The 34-year-old said that at no time did she think of quitting. She says that the whole time was difficult, filled with “tears and disappointments.”
She added that the fact she managed to get a win at the Australia Open is a proof of what kind of a fighter she is.
Her next game will be against American qualifier Jennifer Brady, the world number 116.