Australian Open: Serena Williams overcomes slow start to enter the fourth round

Serena Williams overcame the slow start and two set points to beat Anastasia Potapova 7-6 (5), 6-2 to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open on Friday.

Williams overcame a slow start to thwart Anastasia Potapova and ensured her quest for history at the Australian Open continued.

The 23- time Grand Slam winner had 31 unforced errors but wore the Russian in a 97-minute match on Rod Laver Arena to set up a showdown with seventh seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in the fourth round.

“Definitely good to be in the fourth round,” said Williams.

“I came out of the blocks not like I have been (before). But it’s all about surviving and playing better every round,” she added.

The 10th seed has been in a strong form so far in Melbourne but was out-of-sorts in an error-strewn start in the first set. But Potapova, 19, had a meltdown trying to serve out the first set with five double fouls missing the golden opportunity.

Williams then refocused and won a tiebreaker before cruising through the second set.

The seven-time Australian Open champion will play Sabalenka, who defeated American Ann Li 6-3, 6-1 on Sunday.

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