Serena Williams returns a shot during her third-round match against fellow American Nicole Gibbs at the Australian Open in Melbourne
Serena Williams returns a shot during her third-round match against fellow American Nicole Gibbs at the Australian Open in Melbourne

Surging Williams "pretty good” heading into fourth round

TENNIS: SO far, so good.

Bearing down on a seventh Australian Open crown and a 23rd major overall, Serena Williams is satisfied her ballistic game is in decent shape.

The six-time Australian Open champion beat compatriot Nicole Gibbs 6-1 6-3 in only 63 minutes on Saturday - and didn't face a break point until she was serving for the match.

A belated serving glitch was the only negative in an otherwise untroubled performance.

Williams, 35, is yet to drop a set in eliminating quality opponents in Belinda Bencic, Lucie Safarova and Gibbs.

"I feel like I have been able to do pretty good," the American world No.2 said.

"I have been doing the things I have been doing in practice, and hopefully I can build up on this. That's all I want to do."

Williams hit 17 winners and made 26 unforced errors to Gibbs' nine and 21 and will play Barbora Strycova on Monday, who moved into the fourth round with a 6-2 7-5 defeat of French 21st seed Caroline Garcia.

Garcia was wasteful with 35 unforced errors and dropped serve four times.

Trailing 3-5 (15-40) in the second set, Strycova reeled off 16 points in a row.

"I didn't even count and my coach (Tomas Krupa) told me so. I was kind of in a zone, so I was very happy about my performance," she said.

News Corp Australia

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