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AP Sports

January 15, 2014

Williams, Djokovic into 3rd round at Aussie Open

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Serena Williams wore a fitted pink blazer into her second-round match at the Australian Open, giving the impression she wasn't feeling the heat.

And after her 6-1, 6-2 win over Vesna Dolonc on Wednesday, the second consecutive scorching day at the season's first major, Williams said she could remember hotter matches.

By improving her career mark to 60-8 at Melbourne Park, she equaled Margaret Court's record 60 match wins at the Australian Open in the Open era.

On day three at Melbourne Park, the center court at Rod Laver Arena was — at least according to the two fans holding up a sign — "Serena's Arena."

The heat topped 40 Celsius (104F) during the 63-minute match, and peaked at just under 42 C (108 F) later during Novak Djokovic's 6-0, 6-4, 6-4 win over Leonardo Mayer. Second-seeded Djokovic, aiming to be the first man in the Open era to win four consecutive Australian Open titles, didn't face a break point.

Williams fended off the only break point she faced with an ace, one of her 10 in the match. She hit 24 winners, sticking to the ideal strategy of keeping the points short on a hot day and extended her winning streak to 24 matches.

She said didn't even go outside Tuesday because conditions "were a little bit extreme," adding that the prospect of the scorching temperatures had even interrupted her sleep.

"I kept waking up in the middle of the night last night just paranoid. I just wanted to stay hydrated," she said. "The last thing I want to do is to cramp in this weather. It can happen so easy."

Williams next meets No. 31-seeded Daniela Hantuchova, who was on court for 3 hours, 13 minutes in her 6-3, 3-6, 12-10 win over Karolina Pliskova.

Temperatures topped 42 Celsius (108F) on Tuesday, and there were a total of nine retirements in the first round, equaling a Grand Slam record. It wasn't quite as stifling Wednesday, but the forecast is for the heat wave to continue until Friday.

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