Serena steamrolls her way into fourth round | sports | Hindustan Times
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Serena steamrolls her way into fourth round

sports Updated: Jan 24, 2009 09:02 IST

AFP
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Three-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams stormed into the Australian Open fourth round on Saturday with a 6-1, 6-4 win over China's Peng Shuai.

Stung by a listless performance in the second round that she rated only "D minus" and sister Venus' shock exit at the same stage of the tournament, the second seed set out to stamp her authority on the match early.

"I'm just enjoying being out here," Williams told the crowd after the win.

The American unleashed an early onslaught against Peng, breaking the 41st seed three times as she rattled through the first set in 31 minutes.

She hit 16 winners to Peng's five on her way to claiming the first set 6-1, firing down four aces and winning 92 per cent of points of first serve.

The second set proved more competitive as Peng regathered to break the nine-time Grand Slam champion in the opening game.

"She started playing really well and getting a lot of balls back and it was really good match for me to play," Williams said.

The American broke back in the next but the Chinese 23-year-old continued to attack and was rewarded with another break in the third game.

But the challenge to Williams' authority proved short-lived and the American was back on level terms three games later.

Nerves then got the better of Peng as she served to stay in the match trailing 5-4, gifting Williams three match points with a double fault and two botched returns.

The American pounced on the first opportunity to close out the match, stretching for an overhead smash to claim victory after 81 minutes.