TENNIS - AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Serena Williams storms through to fourth round

Serena Williams made light work of Chinese player Peng Shuai in the third round of the Australian Open. In the last 16, Williams will face Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who easily sent France's Amélie Mauresmo packing.

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Serena Williams charged into the fourth round of the Australian Open on Saturday with a 6-1, 6-4 win over China's Peng Shuai, while former champion Amelie Mauresmo fell to a woman 10 years her junior.

There was no repeat of the fighting between rival ethnic supporters that marred the previous day as police and security officers beefed up their presence at Melbourne Park.

With sport back in the spotlight, Williams sent an ominous reminder to her younger rivals why she remains the standard bearer of women's tennis. Despite struggling to produce her best play, she still brushed past Peng.

"I'm feeling a little rusty, for whatever reason," Williams said. "It was definitely a lot better than my second round, but I'm still trying to work on some things and hoping they'll come together."

Williams' next opponent is Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who sent Mauresmo packing with a 6-4, 6-2 win.

Mauresmo, who won the Australian Open in 2006 when her semi-final and final opponents both retired injured, struggled to hold her serve against the in-form 19-year-old.

Azarenka broke six of Mauresmo's nine services as she cruised to victory in 87 minutes, leaving the Frenchwoman rueing her missed opportunities.

"It's a little bit frustrating," Mauresmo said. "It's really the key points and the key moments that I didn't play good enough."

Shock win

Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro proved her shock win over Venus Williams on Thursday was no fluke when she defeated compatriot Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-1, 6-4.

Suarez Navarro will play another Spaniard, Anabel Medina Garrigues, in the fourth round on Monday after she upset Italian 12th seed Flavia Pennetta 6-4, 6-1.

Despite the bright sunshine in Melbourne it was a gloomy afternoon for the Bondarenko sisters from Ukraine.

Kateryna Bondarenko, the younger of the siblings, was crushed 6-2, 6-2 by China's Zheng Jie. Alona Bondarenko lost 7-6, 6-3 to Svetlana Kuznetsova, one of five Russian women who have made it through to the last 16 with the possibility of one more to come.

France, attempting to get four men through to the round of 16, made a perfect start on Saturday when Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils both won in straight sets.

Simon, seeded sixth, beat Croatia's Mario Ancic 7-6, 6-4, 6-2 while 12th-seed Monfils defeated Spain's Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 6-3, 7-5.

Spain's world number one, Rafael Nadal, was drawn to play German Tommy Haas on centre court, while British hope Andy Murray was scheduled to meet Austria's Jurgen Melzer on one of the adjoining showcourt arenas.


Women's singles, 3rd round results:

Serena Williams (USA x2) bt Peng Shuai (CHN) 6-1, 6-4

Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) bt Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP 6-1, 6-4

Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP x21) bt Flavia Pennetta (ITA x12) 6-4, 6-1

Victoria Azarenka (BLR x13) bt Amelie Mauresmo (FRA x20) 6-4, 6-2

Zheng Jie (CHN x22) bt Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 6-2, 6-2

Svetlana Kuznetzova (RUS x8) bt Alona Bondarenko (UKR x31) 7-6 (9/7), 6-4

Dominika Cibulkova (SVK x18) bt Virginie Razzano (FRA) 7-5, 7-5

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