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   Thursday, 16 January, 2003, 01:10 GMT
Serena safely through
Thursday's women's round-up

Serena Williams made it to the third round with ease
Serena Williams improved on her first-round display
Serena Williams gave a much improved performance as she swept past Els Callens 6-4 6-0 and into round three of the Australian Open.

The top seed struggled in her opening match against Emilie Loit, coming through in three tight sets, but there were no such problems against Callens.

Williams broke in the fifth game of the opening set and although her Belgian opponent battled hard, there was no way back.

The second set saw the world number one approaching something like her best and she needed just 20 minutes to reel off six consecutive games.

"I'm still not quite comfortable with where I want to be right now," Williams said afterwards.

"But it's getting better - and I don't want to peak too soon. I think I'm a little tense.

"Maybe I put a little bit too much pressure on myself. But I'm not worried, things could be worse."

Williams later learned she has been fined US$1,500 (1,000) for swearing during her first round match against Loit.

Kim Clijsters enjoyed one of the easiest wins of her career
Clijsters was on court for barely half an hour

The world number one was punished for breaching the sport's strict rules on player behaviour for an "audible obscenity."

She will next play 26th seed, Thai Tamarine Tanasugarn, who beat Russian Alina Jidkova 6-2 3-6 6-3. .

One of the few women who appears capable of challenging the Williams sisters, Kim Clijsters, barely broke sweat as she whitewashed Hungarian Petra Mandula 6-0 6-0.

The Belgian took command from the outset and never looked in danger of even losing a game, the match lasting a mere 32 minutes.

There was a closer battle as number 10 seed Chanda Rubin recorded her first ever win over Mary Pierce.

The American was whitewashed in the opening set but came back superbly to run out a 0-6 6-4 6-2 winner against the former Australian and French Open champion.

Elsewhere, eighth seed Anastasia Myskina lost the first set but fought back to beat Swiss player Emmanuelle Gagliardi 5-7 6-2 6-0.

Veteran 19th seed Amanda Coetzer also needed three sets to see off Yugoslavia's Jelena Jankovic 6-2 4-6 6-4.

There was success for another long-time tour player, Bulgarian Magdalena Maleeva, seeded 11, who came from a set down to beat Korea's Yoon Jeong Cho 2-6 6-4 6-1.

Sixteenth seed Nathalie Dechy of France progressed to the third round with a 6-3 6-3 win over Daja Bedanova of the Czech Republic.

Eighteenth seed Eleni Daniilidou of Greece eased through against American Amy Frazier, winning 6-1 6-2.

And Israel's Anna Pistolesi, the 14th seed, advanced when Maja Matevzic of Slovenia retired at 5-1 down in the opening set.

Twentieth seed Elena Bovina of Russia was impressive on her way to a 6-1 6-2 win over Rita Grande of Italy.

And American Meghann Shaughnessy, seeded 25, thrashed Ludmila Cervanova of Slovakia 6-1 6-1.

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"I don't want to peak too early"
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