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Day 4: Serena Soars as Kvitova Falls in Midnight Marathon

Serena Williams was nearly perfect in her return to action after an injury scare. Laura Robson edged Petra Kvitova in a match that went into the wee hours on Day 4.

By Eric Gudris

Serena Williams (January 17, 2013) -- Though many were focused on her ankle, it was a busted lip that gave Serena Williams more concern as she raced into the the third round of the Australian Open.

Playing in her second round match against Spanish teenager Garbine Muguruza, Williams did not seem affected by an ankle injury she suffered the previous day on court. Instead her focus was on Muguruza who pushed the 15-time Major champion in several rallies.

Williams's biggest obstacle in the match became herself when, during the seventh game, she accidentally smacked herself in the mouth with her racket. Despite the annoyance, Williams cruised to a 6-2, 6-0 win as she closed out the match hitting a 128MPH serve, the fastest she has hit in her career.

Afterwards, Williams said that her ankle felt better than she expected it would.

"I didn't feel anything today. Obviously when you go out to play you're heavy on adrenaline and you're really pumped up. Usually I feel injuries after the match, but so far, so good. I felt pretty, much better than I ever dreamed of expecting to feel."

Azarenka Leads Advance into Third Round

Top seed Victoria Azarenka notched yet another easy victory as she earned a 6-1, 6-0 win over Eleni Daniilidou. Azarenka will now face America's Jaime Hampton who also won without a struggle over Luksika Kumkhum 6-1, 6-2.

Ageless wonder Kimiko Date-Krumm finds herself back in the third round of Melbourne since she last went that far back in 1995 after the Japanese veteran beat Shahar Peer 6-2, 7-5.

Other winners on the day included No. 10 seed Caroline Wozniacki, No. 14 seed Maria Kirilenko, and No. 16 seed Roberta Vinci.

Robson Upsets Kvitova in Midnight Marathon

Rising British sensation Laura Robson scored yet another top ten win as she took on No. 8 seed Petra Kvitova in a match that went deep into the early Melbourne morning on Rod Laver Arena.

After both women split the first two sets, they battled deep into a third set that took the match well past the midnight hour. But it was Robson who broke Kvitova to go up 10-9 in the final set and from the young Brit closed out a 2-6, 6-3, 11-9 victory.

Robson will now face in the third round another fellow 19-year-old in Sloane Stephens who earlier beat Kristina Mladenovic 6-4, 6-3.


(Photo Credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve)


 

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