Serena Williams Advances to 4th Round at Aussie Open - NBC 6 South Florida

Serena Williams Advances to 4th Round at Aussie Open

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    Serena Williams Advances to 4th Round at Aussie Open
    AP
    Serena Williams returns to China's Peng Shuai during their match at the Australian Open Tennis Championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009.

    Serena Williams didn't have to deal with any unexpected distractions -- like a streaker on the court -- Saturday, advancing to the fourth round at the Australian Open.

    Williams, who won the title here in 2003, 2005 and 2007, started play on Rod Laver Arena on day six with a 6-1, 6-4 win over No. 41-ranked Peng Shuai of China.

    The second-seeded Williams, who gave herself a "D-minus" after her last match, won the last six games of the first set without much trouble, but was broken twice early in the second.

    She rallied to level at 3-3, then took a tumble when Peng wrong-footed her with a forehand cross court winner that set up break point.

    The fall seemed to wake up Williams, though, and she shouted "Come on!" after whacking an ace two points later and holding serve.

    "It was definitely a lot better than my second round. But I'm still trying to work on some things and hoping they'll come together," she said. "I'm feeling a little rusty, for whatever reason."

    The nine-time major winner's victory was routine compared with the previous day at the first major of the season.

    A half-naked streaker ran onto the court during Williams' doubles victory with sister Venus.

    Williams said she could see the lighter side of the situation, among other things.

    "Well, first I saw him jump over and then I noticed he didn't have underwear on. I thought, 'OK, I must be seeing things.'

    "He ran out on the court ... he was pretty close to me and V (Venus). I was like, 'I hope he doesn't come, he's too close.

    "Then I thought, 'This is crazy. Doesn't really happen too much. Then I just thought, my eyes, my innocent eyes!"

    Serena Williams next faces No. 13 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who ousted 2006 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo 6-4, 6-2.

    Azarenka, 19, won her first career title at Brisbane earlier this month and said she was growing in confidence with her winning streak.

    Carla Suarez Navarro, who had an upset win over reigning Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in the second round, beat fellow Spaniard Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-1, 6-4.

    The 19-year-old Suarez Navarro, ranked 46th, will next play No. 21 Anabel Medina Garrigues — who ousted 12th-seeded Flavia Pennetta of Italy 6-4, 6-1 — in an all-Spanish fourth-round match.

    Gael Monfils, a French Open semifinalist last year, had a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 win over No. 17 Nicolas Almagro of Spain to advance beyond the third round here for the first time.