Australian Open 2019: Serena Williams storms past Eugenie Bouchard in straight sets to reach third round

Melbourne: Serena Williams stormed previous Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard and into the Australian Open third spherical Thursday as her quest for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title gathered tempo.

Serena Williams of the US hits a return in opposition to Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard throughout their ladies’s singles match. AFP

The American gained 6-2, 6-2 in 70 minutes, organising unseeded Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska as the following hurdle in her bid for an additional main to equal the mark set by Australian nice Margaret Court docket.

The 37-year-old gained her 23rd main Down Underneath two years in the past whereas two months pregnant and is the bookies’ favorite to say an eighth Australian title, regardless of being seeded 16th.

Williams mentioned she was cautious of Bouchard, who’s on the comeback path after a slide down the rankings to quantity 79 on this planet.

“It wasn’t a straightforward match tonight, Eugenie’s been to the ultimate of Wimbledon (in 2014) and the semi-finals of different Grand Slams,” she mentioned.

“So I knew ‘Serena, you have to come out sizzling, you have to come out firing, she’s a very good participant and I have not had many matches since final yr’.”

The indicators seemed ominous for Bouchard when she gained just one level on her opening service recreation, then did not hit a return when it was Williams’ flip to serve.

But the primary set was a messy affair for each gamers, with solely two video games happening serve.

It was testomony to Bouchard’s tenacity that she managed two breaks to 4 in opposition to Williams’ howitzer serve, sending her supporters into raptures.

Nevertheless it at all times seemed like an train in injury management for the Canadian, who tried to run Williams across the court docket however struggled to deal with her opponent’s blistering energy.

Her resistance was barely more practical early within the second set, when she managed to carry her two service video games.

Williams responded with a raise in depth, happening a five-game profitable streak to settle the match.

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