Published: Thu, January 17, 2019
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Serena eliminates Bouchard in Melbourne

Serena eliminates Bouchard in Melbourne

Graf, who is married to Andre Agassi and no longer actively involved in the game, is back in Melbourne for the first time in 15 years and said Williams still had all the attributes to win more Slams. Although Williams looks as fit and ready as she did in 2017, she is still only 10 months into her return and only one official match into her 2019 campaign.

"She obviously is an incredible doubles player, a year ago No. 1 in the world", she said. I got to spend time with my daughter that's all that matters to me'.

"I don't want to talk about it too much and put her on too much of a pedestal because I have to play her, but I love her".

Tennis great Steffi Graf has backed Serena Williams to match and even beat Margaret Court's record 24 Grand Slam titles, saying the American's determination and experience will get her over the line. "I don't know. I just know that I'm going in the right direction".

"I kind of like to jump in the deep end and swim", Williams said in an on-court interview after the 49-minute workout, "and see what happens".

How far she can go remains to be seen.

A baseline player who favours the hardcourt, Birrell has two ITF titles to her name, and made a splash earlier this year with a win over world number 10 Daria Kasatkina of Russian Federation at the Brisbane International, before losing in the round of 16.

Alexander Zverev showcased his good and bad side in booking a place in the last 32, he needed five sets and nearly four hours to beat Jeremy Chardy at 12.30am on Margaret Court Arena.

That question, she answered with a smile.

Serena Williams was in uncompromising form as she swept away the improving Eugenie Bouchard to make the third round of the Australian Open.

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