Melbourne, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Top seed and five-time titlist
Serena Williams and last year's runner-up Li Na both notched straight-set
victories Wednesday in the second round at the Australian Open, the first
Grand Slam of the year.
Serena dropped just three games for the second straight match, earning a
6-1, 6-2 win over Serb Vesna Dolonc at Rod Laver Arena to improve to 60-8 at
Melbourne Park, equaling Margaret Court's record for match wins at the
tournament in the Open era.
Serena will square off with Daniela Hantuchova in the third round after the
31st-seeded Czech outlasted compatriot Karolina Pliskova to claim a 6-3, 3-6,
The fourth-seeded Li, who lost to two-time reigning champion Victoria Azarenka
in last year's final, bageled Belinda Bencic in a 22-minute first set, but
faced much more resistance in the second as the 16-year-old Swiss wild card
forced a tiebreak.
However, the Chinese star was able to gut out a 6-0, 7-6 (7-5) triumph.
Lucie Safarova awaits Li in the third round after the 26th-seeded Czech
claimed a 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-0 victory over countrymate Lucie Hradecka.
Ninth-seeded German Angelique Kerber cruised to a 6-4, 6-2 win over Russian
Alla Kudryavtseva and will take on American Alison Riske in the third round
after Riske bested Yanina Wickmayer 6-1, 6-1.
No. 15 Sabine Lisicki and 18th seed Kirsten Flipkens each suffered surprising
second-round setbacks on Wednesday.
Romanian Monica Niculescu sent last year's Wimbledon runner-up Lisicki to an
early exit with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 win, while Aussie wild card Casey Dellacque
downed Flipkens of Germany 6-3, 6-0.
Next up for Niculescu will be Russian Ekaterina Makarova, who moved into the
third round with a 6-2, 7-5 triumph over American Irina Falconi. The 22nd-
seeded Makarova ousted seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams in Monday's
No. 28 Italian Flavia Pennetta picked up a 6-3, 6-4 win over Monica Puig to
set up a third-round matchup with German Mona Barthel, who bounced Thailand's
Luksika Kumkhum by a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 margin. Kumkhum was coming off an upset win
over sixth-seeded Petra Kvitova in the first round.
Also on Wednesday, 30th-seeded Canadian Eugenie Bouchard registered a hard-
fought 6-2, 7-6 (12-10) triumph over Virginie Razzano.
The Sports Network