Serena Williams and Roger Federer stamped their class on the Australian Open on Wednesday as a top anti-corruption official criticised tennis’s efforts against match-fixing following a major controversy this week.
As tennis’s corruption-fighting body was slammed as “opaque and secretive”, Williams barged past Hsieh Su-Wei 6-1, 6-2 to reach the third round as she seeks a record-equalling 22nd major title.
Williams eased lingering concerns over the state of her injured knee as she obliterated the Taiwanese, even pulling off possibly her first ever round-the-net shot for good measure.
“It’s always cool to do something fresh and new. I don’t know if I have done that,” said the American world number one, who showed no signs discomfort from her knee.
“I moved much better, so slowly but surely feeling a little bit better,” she added.
Federer, who is trying to extend his record number of Grand Slam crowns to 18, then dismantled his 35th-ranked practice partner Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 7-5, 6-1.
The all-time Grand Slam king came unstuck in the third round last year, when he was shocked by Andreas Seppi, and he is wary of another upset with Grigor “Baby Fed” Dimitrov up next.
“It’s the least I expect to be in the third round of a Slam, obviously, so I’m pumped up, playing well, feeling good,” Federer said.
“But there’s always a danger, you know. Like last year the third round was the end for me, so I hope to go further this time.”
‘Heavy’ match-fixing - The straightforward wins pleased the crowd at Rod Laver Arena, where early rain gave way to bright sun as attention refocused on tennis after the match-fixing controversy overshadowed the first two days.