Serena Williams made the Australian Open debut in 1998, not playing at her best in the opening years in Melbourne before lifting the title in 2003. Serena would become the Down Under legend after winning seven trophies at Melbourne Park, with the last one coming four years ago.
Seeking that elusive 24th Major title, Serena is off to a winning start in Melbourne this year, winning three matches in straight sets to advance into the last 16. Heading to Melbourne with 87 victories under her belt, Serena became the first player with 90 triumphs at the season’s first Major, leaving all the rivals far behind and writing history books once again.
Serena is the only player in history with at least 90 wins at three different Majors, achieving that at Wimbledon and the US Open and adding the Australian Open to that impressive list. Chris Evert has over 90 wins at Wimbledon and the US Open, and Serena now stands alone after achieving that at three different Major events, with no one to join her in the upcoming years.
Serena needed only 56 minutes to dismiss Laura Siegemund in the first round, toppling the German 6-1, 6-1 after a dominant display on both serve and return. Nina Stojanovic stood powerless against the grand American in round two, with Williams forging a 6-3, 6-0 triumph in 69 minutes.
Serena Williams became the only player with 90 victories at three Majors.
In the third round, Serena overpowered Anastasia Potapova 7-6, 6-2, reaching the last 16 for the 16th time in Melbourne and scoring that milestone 90th victory.
Potapova wasted two set points on serve at 5-3 in the opener and lost a tight tie break to lose ground. The Russian kicked off the second set with a break, losing the advantage in the next game when Serena pulled the break back.
Williams broke again in game four and brought the next one home with a service winner to open a 4-1 advantage. Serving at 4-2, the American placed a backhand winner and sealed the deal with a break at 5-2 that carried her through. Serena will face an in-form Aryna Sabalenka in the battle for the place in the quarters on Sunday.