You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Serena cruises to Australian Open last 16

NZN 21/01/2017 Ben McKay

Serena Williams has proven herself too powerful, too smart and too good for countrywoman Nicole Gibbs, cruising into the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The world no.2 ousted Gibbs, ranked 90 places lower, in just 63 minutes on Rod Laver Arena on Saturday with a 6-1 6-3 mauling.

The six-time winner at Melbourne Park faces 16th seed Barbora Strycova in the round of 16 and will start heavy favourite after another dominant display.

Williams stared down every challenge from the 23-year-old Gibbs.

She dropped serve for just the second time in the tournament when attempting to close out the match.

It didn't matter as Williams broke back in the next game to end the contest.

The 35-year-old said the victory "felt really good" despite their off-court friendship and Gibbs' stated reverence for her third-round opponent.

"The second she stepped on the court, she went all out and I think she did a really great job," she said.

"The same thing with me when I was growing up.

"I was, you know, in awe and had so much respect for these players.

"But when I stepped out there, I wanted to see what I can do, all my years of work and how it would stand up against the greatest.

"I always take every (opponent) super serious. I'm super focused. That's what I do.

"It was really good to get this under my belt."

The win continues a tremendous tournament for Williams, who is gunning for an unprecedented 23rd grand slam singles success.

Against the well-credentialed Belinda Bencic and Lucie Safarova in the opening two rounds, Williams achieved straight-sets wins.

Her numbers against Gibbs made for impressive reading.

Williams kept three-quarters of the rallies less than five shots, and won 50 of those 77 points.

She won 12 of 13 points at the net and smacked 17 winners to Gibbs' nine.

Helping her chances of another deep run, Williams has spent less than four hours on court for her three wins.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon