MELBOURNE – Serena Williams stormed past Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard and into the Australian Open third round on Thursday as her quest for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title gathered pace.
The American won 6-2 6-2 in 70 minutes, setting up unseeded Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska as the next hurdle in her bid for another major to equal the mark set by Australian great Margaret Court.
The 37-year-old won her 23rd major Down Under two years ago while two months pregnant, and is the bookies’ favourite to claim an eighth Australian title, despite being seeded 16th.
Williams said she was wary of Bouchard, who is on the comeback trail after a slide down the rankings to number 79 in the world.
“It wasn’t an easy match tonight. Eugenie’s been to the final of Wimbledon (in 2014) and the semi-finals of other Grand Slams,” she said.