Second-seeded Serena Williams of the United States overcame her compatriot Nicole Gibbs 6-1, 6-3 in just over an hour to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open tennis tournament here on Saturday.
Venus Williams has returned to the quarterfinals for the ninth time at the Australian Open, where she first made the last eight on debut in 1998. She will next play No. 16 Barbora Strycova, who beat No. 21 Caroline Garcia 6-2, 7-5.
"Are you serious?" Williams responded, adding that the assessment was "very negative" and "wasn't very kind", before going on to say that against a strong player such as Safarova, it was necessary "to go for more, which obviously makes a few more errors".
"It's a congratulations for me being the oldest person in the draw or something like that", she dead-panned.
Williams hasn't advanced beyond the quarterfinal round at Melbourne Park since her loss to younger sister, Serena, in the 2003 final.
Sports commentators and reporters are on risky ground when commenting on the Williams sisters' performances at the Australian Open.
Russian 30th seeded Ekaterina Makarova came through an exciting match to defeat Slovakian sixth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 6-3.
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"I saw her play in Sydney", Serena said of Strycova. I played well. She is a former top ten player.
The commentator, Doug Adler, who maintains he said "guerrilla" as in, her choice of tactics but apologized for his poor word choice, was dropped from ESPN's coverage for the rest of the tournament. "Well, fighting - and running a lot", he said. "It's wonderful to be able to advance even further".
She next plays American Jennifer Brady, a qualifier ranked No 116, for a chance to reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final since her run to the semi-finals of Wimbledon in 1999 as a 17-year-old.
Adler was commentating on Williams' second round tie with Stefanie Voegele when he said: "She misses a first serve and Venus is all over her".
"I take it. I mean, it's super exciting".
'Today I expected to have some competition and I'm wishing her the best for the rest of the year. We really had so much fun playing.