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Australian Open: Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic reach third round

By
Alex Butler
Serena Williams of the USA reacts during her women's second-round match against Eugenie Bouchard of Canada at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on Thursday in Melbourne, Australia. Photo by Julian Smith/EPA-EFE
Serena Williams of the USA reacts during her women's second-round match against Eugenie Bouchard of Canada at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on Thursday in Melbourne, Australia. Photo by Julian Smith/EPA-EFE

Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Serena Williams moved onto the third round of the 2019 Australian Open on Thursday by beating Canadian Eugenie Bouchard in straight sets.

The seven-time Australian Open champion won 6-2, 6-2 in the round of 64 match at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. She completed the match in 1:10.

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Top-seed Simona Halep also advanced into the third round on the women's side. No. 1 men's player Novak Djokovic beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets. No. 4 Alexander Zverev also advanced, while Alexei Popyrin upset No. 7 Dominic Thiem in straight sets on the men's side.

"It wasn't an easy match tonight," Williams said in her on-court interview. "Genie has been to the finals of Wimbledon and been to the semifinals of other Grand Slams. So I knew 'alright, Serena. You've got to come out hot. You've gotta come out firing.' She's a really good player."

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Williams went up 3-0 in the first set before her Canadian counterpart earned her first point. Bouchard fought back to 4-2 before Williams finished her off to open the match.

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The second set was a bit closer, with Bouchard going up 1-0 and 2-1 before Williams rallied at 2-2. Williams finished off Bouchard by winning four consecutive set points to win the match.

"I think she's playing really, really well," Bouchard told reporters. "She has to be the favorite to win this tournament. It was tough to play against her."

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Williams battles Dayana Yastremska in the round of 32 on Friday in Melbourne. No. 2 Angelique Kerber, No. 4 Naomi Osaka, No. 6 Elina Svitolina and No. 8 Petra Kvitova also take the court on Friday.

Halep battles Venus Williams in the third round in the women's circuit.

Djokovic takes on No. 25 Denis Shapovalov in the third round on Friday. No. 2 Rafael Nadal battles No. 27 Alex de Minaur on Friday. No. 4 Alexander Zverev, No. 6 Marin Cilic and No. 8 Kei Nishikori are also set for third-round matches in Melbourne.

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