Serena through with record-equalling win

Serena Williams eased into the third round of the Australian Open equalling the record of 60 match wins at the event.

Serena remains favourite to win the Australian Open women's title [Reuters]

Serena Williams eased into the third round of the Australian Open with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Vesna Dolonc.

By extending her winning stretch to 24 matches dating back to August, and improving her career mark to 60-8 at Melbourne Park, she also equalled Margaret Court’s record 60 match wins at the Australian Open in the Open era.

Novak Djokovic also marched into the third round with a 6-0, 6-4, 6-4 win over Leonardo Mayer.

Second-seeded Djokovic, aiming to be the first man in the Open era to win four consecutive Australian Open titles, did not face a break point.

Williams next meets Daniela Hantuchova, who was on court for three hours, 13 minutes in her 6-3, 3-6, 12-10 win over Karolina Pliskova.

Li Na through

Earlier, Li Na opened proceedings when she completed back-to-back wins over the two youngest players in the draw.

The 2011 French Open champion, a two-time finalist at Melbourne Park, conceded just 10 points in the first set en route a 6-0, 7-6 win over 16-year-old Belinda Bencic.

Angelique Kerber advanced to a match against American Alison Riske, who trounced Yanina Wickmayer 6-1, 6-1.

Australian wild-card entry Casey Dellacqua upset Kirsten Flipkens 6-3, 6-0.

The tournament’s heat rule went into effect in the first match on Margaret Court Arena, giving Sabine Lisicki and Monica Niculescu a 10-minute break after the second set.

Niculescu returned to win 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 and will next play Ekaterina Makarova, who followed up her first-round win over Venus Williams with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over American Irina Falconi.

On the men’s side, David Ferrer beat Adrian Mannarino of France 7-6, 5-7, 6-0, 6-3 to progress along with Tomas Berdych and Richard Gasquet, Tommy Robredo, Jerzy Janowicz and Jeremy Chardy.

Men’s second round results (selected):
Novak Djokovic (2) def. Leonardo Mayer 6-0, 6-4, 6-4
David Ferrer (3) def. Adrian Mannarino 7-6, 5-7, 6-0, 6-3
Tomas Berdych (7) def. Kenny De Schepper 6-4, 6-1, 6-3
Richard Gasquet (9) def. Nikolay Davydenko 7-6, 6-4, 6-4
Florian Mayer def. Mikhail Youzhny (14) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3

Women’s second round results (selected):
Serena Williams (1) def. Vesna Dolonc 6-1, 6-2
Li Na (4) def. Belinda Bencic 6-0, 7-6
Angelique Kerber (9) def. Alla Kudryavtseva 6-4, 6-2
Ana Ivanovic (14) def. Annika Beck 6-1, 6-2
Monica Niculescu def. Sabine Lisicki (15) 2-6, 6-2, 6-2
Samantha Stosur (17) def. Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2, 6-0

Source: AP

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