- POSTED: 15 Jan 2014 11:41
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Ice-cool top seed Serena Williams stayed on track for her sixth Australian Open title on Wednesday with a straight-sets demolition of Serbia's Vesna Dolonc.
MELBOURNE: Ice-cool top seed Serena Williams stayed on track for her sixth Australian Open title on Wednesday with a straight-sets demolition of Serbia's Vesna Dolonc.
The world number one raced through the match in oven-like conditions on Rod Laver Arena to make the third round with a dominant 6-1, 6-2 display in just 63 minutes.
The victory was yet another landmark for the American veteran, who is gunning to match the achievement of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova in winning her 18th Grand Slam.
In beating Dolonc, she drew level with Margaret Court's record in winning her 60th match at the Australian Open.
Williams has now played 68 times at Melbourne Park, with only Lindsay Davenport on 69 having graced the court more in the Open era.
"I'm still excited to just be here and be playing in front of this crowd. I'm happy to still be alive," said Williams, who seemed to barely break a sweat despite the sweltering conditions.
Asked how she stayed so cool in the heat, she replied: "I don't know, I just pretend that I'm in Hawaii and surfing a wave."
It was the first meeting between the pair with Dolonc never having gone beyond the second round at Melbourne Park before, in contrast to the 32-year-old Williams who has won the event five times.
The powerful Williams, who insisted this week that she was more interested in staying calm and having fun on court than winning, welcomed the Serb by sending down 185 kilometre (115 miles) per hour rocket serves to take an early 1-0 lead.
She then immediately got a break to take charge.
Dolonc had no answer to the American's missiles and Williams showed no mercy in sending down four aces in her opening two games.
The Serb finally got on the scoreboard when Williams sent a forehand return long, but her luck soon ran out with the top seed's superior ball-striking securing her the set in 29 minutes as the temperature headed to 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).
A double fault handed the American the break for 1-0 in the second set and the Serb made the same mistake again in the fifth game to give Williams a 4-1 advantage in the lopsided match.
She served out for the match to seal a routine win.
Williams, the tournament favourite after winning a career-best 11 tournaments last year, next plays either the experienced Slovak Daniela Hantuchova or Czech Karolina Pliskova.