Serena Williams said she had to adjust to accept imperfection during her second-round win over Tamara Zidansek at the Australian Open.

The 23-time grand slam champion looked in strong form early before having to battle during the second set of a 6-2 6-3 win on Wednesday.

Williams looked frustrated during the second set, when she committed 17 of her 28 unforced errors, before celebrating her 400th grand slam singles match with a win.

The American, 38, said it was an opportunity to accept she would encounter different challenges during matches in Melbourne.

"I was making a lot of errors. Definitely probably the most errors I've made since the start of the year," Williams told a news conference.

"So, just having to say, 'Okay, not every match is going to be perfect', how to work through that. I hadn't done that since September.

"It was just kind of working through that and getting through that."

Williams was glad to find the answers against Zidansek, who stayed in the second set until the seventh game.

"It [the internal dialogue] is definitely pretty deep. It has to be motivating but also realistic," she said.

"Sometimes you just miss some shots, you don't know why. Just trying to find an answer. That's what I kept doing.

"Thankfully I was able to find an answer in the middle, right in the middle of the second set."

Williams will face Chinese 27th seed Wang Qiang in the third round.

Serena Williams celebrated her 400th grand slam singles match with a straight-sets win over Tamara Zidansek at the Australian Open.

Williams was forced into a battle in the second set on Rod Laver Arena before getting past Zidansek 6-2 6-3 in the second round on Wednesday.

The American remains on track in her bid to match Margaret Court on a record 24 grand slam singles titles despite an untidy display.

Williams secured her 351st grand slam singles match win in one hour, 18 minutes, moving into a third-round meeting with Chinese 27th seed Wang Qiang.

After Williams made a fast start – breaking in the opening game when Zidansek sent a forehand wide – and led 2-0, the Slovenian got on the board.

However, Williams quickly took command, racing into a 5-1 lead as her power overwhelmed Zidansek.

Williams clinched the opening set in 31 minutes, with Zidansek rarely able to match her from the baseline.

But Zidansek improved to begin the second set as Williams' level dropped, battling from 0-40 down to hold for a 3-2 lead.

Williams was growing increasingly frustrated and had to save three break points in the sixth game as the roof was closed due to rain.

Zidansek would be punished for those missed chances, Williams breaking to love in the next game on her way to a straight-sets win.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Serena Williams [8] bt Tamara Zidansek 6-2 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Williams – 25/28
Zidansek – 11/13

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Williams – 7/0
Zidansek – 0/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Williams – 4/14
Zidansek – 0/4

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Williams – 61
Zidansek – 57

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Williams – 78/46
Zidansek – 53/46

TOTAL POINTS
Williams – 68
Zidansek – 49

Serena Williams and her quest to equal the grand slam record for most women's singles titles continues against Tamara Zidansek at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

American superstar Williams has been stuck on 23 major championships since winning the Australian Open in 2017, trailing Margaret Court's tally of 24.

Williams has reached four slam finals since, however, the 38-year-old has finished runner-up on every occasion.

We take a closer look at where Williams is at as she prepares for her second-round encounter at Melbourne Park.

 

Form and results

Riding a drought-ending triumph at the Auckland Open, Williams started her quest for an eighth Australian Open title with a routine victory over teenager Anastasia Potapova on Monday. Williams needed just 58 minutes to wrap up proceedings on Rod Laver Arena – her 350th grand slam match victory.

R1: bt Potapova 6-0 6-3

Next up

Zidansek stands in the way of Williams and a third-round berth. The 22-year-old Slovenian was too good for wildcard Han Na-lae 6-3 6-3 in the opening round. A runner-up in her only WTA Tour final in May 2019, Zidansek also reached the second round in Melbourne last year, before falling to eventual champion Naomi Osaka.

Draw

If Williams beats Zidansek, Fiona Ferro, Wang Qiang or Pauline Parmentier await, while a showdown with good friend Caroline Wozniacki could await in the fourth round. Former world number one and 2018 Australian Open champion Wozniacki is retiring at the end of this tournament.

What she said

"I think, so to say, monkey off my back, kind of. It was very important for me to get a win in the final [Auckland Open]. It felt like a relief. Like I could move forward now."

Caroline Garcia had to battle hard to halt a four-match losing streak while fellow seeds Sofia Kenin and Petra Martic also progressed at the Zhengzhou Open.

Garcia had not recorded a victory on the WTA Tour since beating Kristyna Pliskova in Jurmala in July. She lost to Chloe Paquet in the last 16 at that tournament before suffering opening defeats in Toronto and Cincinnati.

Having lost in straight sets to Ons Jabeur at the US Open, the French eighth seed was forced to work hard against Tereza Martincova in China.

Garcia eventually prevailed on her third match point, securing a 6-4 4-6 7-5 result after two hours and 35 minutes on court.

Kenin began her campaign with a 6-2 7-5 win over Paquet. The American, seeded six for a tournament serving as a Premier event on the Asian swing for the first time, came back from a break down in the second set to triumph.

As for Martic, she overcame Italian Jasmine Paolini 7-5 6-1 in a match that lasted 74 minutes.

The other first-round match to take place on Monday saw Yulia Putintseva prevail 6-1 5-7 6-1 against Tamara Zidansek in a repeat of this year's Nuremberg Cup final, which the former also won in three sets.

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