After Simona Halep's shock Day 1 exit in the opening match on Rod Laver Arena, the women's draw has been as peaceful as it can be and the third day of the Australian Open welcomed all the biggest names into the third round of the tournament.
Birthday girl Angelique Kerber survived an onslaught from fellow German Carina Witthoeft. The world number one produced successive double faults in the second-set tiebreak and commenced the decider by dropping serve without winning a point, as her opponent attacked with powerful groundstrokes. Displaying the grit that helped her win the title here last year, from that point on, the top seed allowed herself to lose just one more game until the end of the match, advancing to the third round with a 6-2 6-7(3) 6-2 victory.
Kerber's first-round match was also not an easy one, but the defending champion is not worried:
I'm fit. I am prepared for playing, like, two, three hours, so that's not a problem. Tomorrow I have a day off, so it's not a big deal.
Playing her 73rd Grand Slam, 36-year-old Venus Williams cruised past Stefanie Voegele 6-3 6-2 to make the third round at the tournament she has never won, but played the final back in 2003. With her bold eyeliner on point, Venus used the opportunity to showcase more designs from her EleVen Thika collection. In the first round we saw the Competitor Dress, while in her match against Voegele the 13th-seeded American displayed her Thika Center Stage Top, Thika Flutter 13" Skirt, and the printed visor from the same line.
Seventh seed Garbine Muguruza also made her way into the third round, beating Samantha Crawford 7-5 6-4 by breaking her serve late in both sets. The French Open champion was victorious in all her service games.
When it comes to defeats on Day 3, the biggest ones are that of the Olympic gold medalist and seed No.29 Monica Puig, who lost to Mona Barthel 6-4 6-4, and the fall of tenth seed Carla Suarez Navarro to Sorana Cirstea 7-6(1) 6-3. Also, China's seed No.20 Zhang Shuai, who was the Cinderella story of the tournament last year by reaching the quarterfinals, now lost in the second round to American Alison Riske 7-6(7) 4-6 6-1.