'Are you serious? You should apologise' - Don't tell Serena she didn't play well...

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Don't make Serena Williams angry. You wouldn't like her when she's angry...

The world number two forced a reporter who had described her performance as "scrappy" to apologise following her Australian Open victory over Lucie Safarova.

Williams, seeking to break the record she shares with Steffi Graff for the most grand slams in the Open Era with her 23rd major triumph, knocked off a second former top-10 player in as many matches, beating Safarova 6-3 6-4 to progress to the third round in Melbourne.

Despite the relatively comfortable nature of her triumph, one journalist was not overly impressed with her showing, pointing to an increased number of unforced errors and double-faults.

In response, Williams channelled her inner-John McEnroe in an incredulous reply, asserting: "I think that's a very negative thing to say. Are you serious?"

When the reporter insisted that it was just their observation, Williams retorted: "Well, you should have been out there. That wasn't very kind. You should apologise. Do you want to apologise?"

And the journalist promptly buckled, obliging to her request to apologise and saying: "I do. I'm sorry."

A suddenly more jovial Williams responded: "Thank you very much. That was a great performance. I played well. She's a former top-10 player. The last time we played together was in the finals of a grand slam.

"You know, it's not an easy match. She's a really good player. You have to go for more, which obviously makes a few more errors.

"So, yeah, I think it was overall a really good match, on both of our ends."

Williams seems able to break the will of both her opponents and media members with ease and, with the defiant mood she appears to be in, it will take a particularly resilient foe to stop her winning the Australian Open for a seventh time and finally surpassing Graff.