Defending Australian Open champion Venus Williams looked more exhausted by the post-match media conference than her second-round romp at Melbourne Park.
After blitzing Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh 6-1 6-2 in exactly one hour, Williams was peppered with questions about Roberta Vinci, the Italian who ended her dream of a calendar slam by beating her in the US Open semi-finals.
Trying to move on from the Vinci shocker, Williams was clearly bored by the time the fourth question came around.
“I’m coming apart … Do we have any more questions?” she said.
There were no questions to be asked of Williams’ form, looking strong and sharp in her win over the world No.90.
Williams, though, said Hseih was more difficult than the scoreline suggested.
“She’s a tricky opponent who I think was a good match-up for me,” Williams said.
“She’s someone who can play any shot at any time from anywhere on the court.”
A knee injury had restricted her Open preparation and meant she hadn’t completed a full competitive match since the US Open.
But the six-time winner felt her movement was back.
“I don’t think I made that many errors today, which is something I was trying to get back into.
“I moved much better, so slowly but surely I’m feeling a little bit better.”
Williams will next face world No.69 Daria Kasatkina after the young Russian accounted for Croatian Ana Konjuh 6-4 6-3.
They were joined in the third round by another Russian, last year’s losing finalist Maria Sharapova.
The fifth seed made also short work of the world No.105 Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich, marching on with 6-2 6-1 win.
Ukrainian Kateryna Bondarenko shocked 23rd seed Svetlana Kuznetsova as she continues her comeback after having a baby in 2013.
World No.92 Bondarenko broke through for her first win over the Russian with a 6-1 7-5 victory and will now face promising Swiss teen Belinda Bencic.
World No.13 Bencic, whose mentor is Martina Hingis, accounted for Hungarian Timea Babos 6-3 6-3.
Bencic’s previous best performance at a grand slam was the fourth round at Wimbledon last year.
She felt her game was in good shape.
“It’s nice to be in the third round here,” said Bencic, who was watched in the stands by Hingis.
“I think I served really good and I played a solid match but I feel like I can improve even more so I think that’s a positive.”
Williams’ US Open nemesis, 12th seed Vinci, also advanced, beating American Irina Falconi 6-2 6-3.
American Lauren Davis will play Sharapova after progressing to the third round when her opponent Magdelena Rybarikova retired after losing the first set.