Serena Williams allays ankle fears with straight forward victory
American advances at the Australian Open
Thursday 17 January 2013
Serena Williams' suspect right ankle was hardly tested as she eased to a 6-2 6-0 win over Spanish teenager Garbine Muguruza in the second round of the Australian Open.
Williams went over on her ankle during her first-round whitewash of Romanian Edina Gallovits-Hall, but if there were any lingering effects of that scary moment, Muguruza could not exploit them.
The 19-year-old showed moments of promise in the first set but when Williams broke to open the second her resistance all but ended and the American could rest easy knowing her ankle had held up.
"It feels better," she said. "I was doing everything you can do from icing to massage. I woke up this morning and I was like, 'oh my god, it's pretty good'. I'll keep playing and see what happens."
As on Tuesday, the biggest danger to Williams' progression was injury - hitting herself in the face with her racket as she reached for a wide forehand in the sixth game.
"One day I twist my ankle, today I hit myself in the face - I don't know what's going to happen on Saturday," said the five-time Melbourne champion, who plays Ayumi Morita next. "I'm hoping maybe I'll just hit some winners.
"I thought if it's swollen, at least I'll get super-sexy lips, right?"
Williams followed top seed Victoria Azarenka on to Rod Laver Arena - the Belarusian taking just 55 minutes to see off Eleni Daniilidou 6-1 6-0.
Having struggled to put away her first-round opponent Monica Niculescu on Tuesday, Azarenka was in no mood to offer any freebies to Greek Daniilidou, who won their only previous meeting in 2008.
Azarenka has developed into one of the major forces in the women's game since then and the gulf in class was evident from the outset.
Daniilidou did not get on the board until the sixth game and the broad grin and raised finger suggested she was already accepting of her fate.
Azarenka won the first set in 24 minutes and although the second was marginally more competitive, despite the scoreline, there was only ever going to be one winner as the Belarusian advanced to a clash with American Jamie Hampton.
"Today was much better," said the world number one and defending champion.
"I am back in competitive mode, 100%, and was really focused. That was the best part of the game for me."
Kimiko Date-Krumm showed no sign of slowing down, the 42-year-old moving through with a 6-2 7-5 win over Shahar Peer.
Date-Krumm's win over Nadia Petrova on Tuesday made her the oldest woman to ever win a singles match in the tournament's history and she again impressed despite the brutally hot conditions.
Fourteenth seed Maria Kirilenko and number 20 Yanina Wickmayer set up a third-round clash with wins today.
Kirilenko ousted Peng Shuai 7-5 6-2 and Wickmayer won a tighter contest against Jana Cepelova 7-6 (8/6) 7-5.
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