Assured Serena sees off Safarova
Serena Williams maintained her perfect record against Lucie Safarova with a straight-sets victory in the second round of the Australian Open.
The world number two, aiming to win an Open Era-record 23rd major title, has now beaten Safarova in all 10 of their meetings after a 6-3 6-4 success at Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.
Williams defeated Safarova in the final of the 2015 French Open and the second seed was too good for the Czech once again in Melbourne.
Fellow American Nicole Gibbs will be the next opponent for the six-time Australian Open champion, who served 15 aces and saved all six break points that Safarova manufactured.
Williams got out of trouble in the fifth game, fending off three break points for a battling hold and got the breakthrough to lead 5-3 before serving out the opening set in 41 minutes.
A composed Williams also stood firm under pressure in the second game of the second set when Safarova had another two break points, but was unable to gain the upper hand.
The favourite took her chance to claim the break and 4-3 advantage and Safarova was unable to force her way back into the match.
Williams made hard work of serving out the match, but was celebrating yet another win over Safarova could only loop a backhand well wide at full stretch on the third match point.
Williams  bt Safarova 6-3 6-4
Williams - 35/23
Williams - 15
Safarova - 8
BREAK POINTS WON
Williams - 2/5
Safarova - 0/6
FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Williams - 64
PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Williams - 83/41
Williams - 73