MELBOURNE, Australia — Serena Williams has had so much success for such a long time that even in a second-round match she can set a record at the season’s first Grand Slam event.

The six-time and defending champion beat No. 90th-ranked Hsieh Su-wei 6-1, 6-2 on Wednesday at Rod Laver Arena, a record 79th main draw match at the Australian Open.

“It all started here – this is where I played my first Grand Slam right on this court and I’m still going, it’s such an honor,” said Williams, who has a 70-9 win-loss record at Melbourne Park since her debut in 1998. “I love it every time I come here.”

She hit 26 winners, including one around the post that she thought may have been a first for her, at age 34.

“My first one I think,” she said. “I was like, “Yay. Never too late.”

Roger Federer extended his streak by reaching the third round for the 17th straight Australian Open, and registered his 299th match win at a major.


Federer, playing his 65th consecutive major, advanced 6-3, 7-5, 6-1 over Alexandr Dolgopolov.

He lost in the third round in his first two trips to Melbourne Park in 2000 and ’01 and again last year – in between he won the title four times and lost one final during a run of reaching the semifinals or better in 11 straight years.

“I hope to keep it up as long as I choose to play tennis,” he said. “I mean, it’s the least I expect to be in the third round of a Slam, obviously, so I’m pumped up, playing well, feeling good.

“But there’s always a danger, you know. Like last year the third round was the end for me, so I hope to go further this time.”

Seventh-seeded Kei Nishikori, the 2014 U.S. Open finalist, advanced with a 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 win over Austin Krajicek and advanced along with No. 6 Tomas Berdych, No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 12 Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion, No. 14 Gilles Simon, No. 15 David Goffin, No. 19 Dominic Thiem and No. 24 Roberto Bautista Agut.

Williams’ next opponent will be 18-year-old Russian Daria Kasatkina, who beat Croatia’s Ana Konjuh 6-4, 6-3, and she faces a potential quarterfinal match against 2015 finalist Maria Sharapova, who reached the third round with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich.


Williams was on course for a calendar-year Grand Slam in 2015 with wins here, and at the French Open and Wimbledon before a semifinal loss at the U.S. Open to Roberta Vinci of Italy.

Asked by an Italian journalist if she’d watched a replay of that match, Williams gave a touchy response: “Yeah, I watch it every day. Every night to get ready.”

No. 13 Vinci beat Irina Falconi 6-2, 6-3 to advance in the opposite quarter of the same half of the draw. Vinci is a potential fourth-round rival for No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat Eugenie Bouchard 6-4, 6-2 in a match featuring two former Wimbledon finalists.

Bouchard, coming off a long layoff late last year after sustaining a concussion when she slipped and fell in a dressing room at the U.S. Open, reached the final in a warm-up tournament at Hobart last week but ran out of steam against Radwanska.

Third-seeded Garbine Muguruza had a 6-4, 6-2 win over Kirsten Flipkens to reach the third round for the third straight year.

Muguruza, who lost last year’s Wimbledon final to Serena Williams, made it to the fourth round in 2014 and 2015 at Melbourne Park. Last year, Williams beat the Venezuelan-born Spaniard in the fourth round here.


No. 10 Carla Suarez Navarro and No. 12 Belinda Bencic advanced along with 92nd-ranked Kateryna Bondarenko, who earned one of her biggest wins since returning from retirement in 2014 with a straight-sets win over two-time major winner and No. 23-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Also, Ana Ivanovic advanced with a 6-3, 6-3 win over qualifier Anastasija Sevastova in a match that was suspended when a spectator fell on the stairs at Rod Laver Arena.

Ivanovic was up a service break and leading 4-3 in the first set when medical personnel rushed to the woman’s aid in the upper level of the 15,000-seat stadium.

John Isner is back in the third round at Melbourne Park for the fifth time in seven years following a 6-3, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2) win over Marcel Granollers of Spain.

The 10th-seeded Isner had 20 aces and 53 winners.

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