Australian Open: Serena Williams in last 16

Melbourne, Jan 19 (IANS) Serena Williams reached the fourth round at the Australian Open here Saturday after thrashing Japanese Ayumi Morita 6-1, 6-3 at the Melbourne Park.

Williams showed no discomfort from the right ankle injury she sustained in the first round and stayed on track for a third consecutive Grand Slam title. The tournament-favorite won last year's Wimbledon and US Open titles, reports Xinhua.

The 31-year-old American, seeking a sixth crown at Melbourne Park, was 0-3 down in the second set before she won six games in a row to end Morita's hope at the Australian Open. She suffered her first service break in the tournament with a double-fault in the second game of the second set.

"Morita played at a level higher than I expected so it took me off guard. She was really consistent," said Williams. "And my ankle is doing a little better every day."

The third seed, who approached record levels with her serve when she hit the 207 kilometres per hour mark in the first set, will play her fourth-round match against Russian Maria Kirilenko, who beat Yanina Wickmeyer earlier Saturday.

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