Serena Williams, Australian Open, Nicole Gibbs, third round, Makarova
Serena Williams gets ready to thump a winner during her third round win at the Australian Open, January 21, 2017Reuters

Serena Williams did not want to hang around at the Rod Laver Arena for too long, so she swatted aside the challenge from fellow American Nicole Gibbs to ease into the fourth round of the 2017 Australian Open.

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Expected to win pretty much every tournament she plays in, Serena came to Melbourne with a few doubts hanging over her fitness and form, but over the course of the three matches, she has dispelled most of those worries.

In this third round match on Saturday, the result was never in doubt, with Serena proving to be too strong for Gibbs. The world number two won 6-1, 6-3 in an hour and three minutes, with the only blemish being the drop of her serve when she was serving for the match.

Johanna Konta's love affair with the Australian Open continued, with the Brit easing through to the fourth round after a straight-set 6-3, 6-1 win over former world number one Caroline Wozniacki.

Earlier, Ekaterina Makarova caused an upset by dumping No.6 seed Dominika Cibulkova out of the Australian Open. In a hard-fought encounter, Makarova took early control, winning the first set 6-2, before Cibulkova bounced back by forcing the decider courtesy a tie-break win, after initially being in deep trouble.

Makarova was the one to gain the crucial break in that final set, eventually prevailing 6-2, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3.

"I never beat Dominika before," Makarova, seeded 30 in this tournament, said. "But I lost two times in three sets, and I knew that it would be tough match, tough battle. And she would fight until the end.

"Even when I was winning 6-2, 4-Love, then maybe two games a little bit – I got tight. I really wanted to win the match. But after that, she play amazing tennis.

"It was tough in the end of the second set, and all third set. I think it was such great tennis and fighting tennis. And I'm so happy that I could stay with all my focus and with my aggressive game."

Dominic Thiem was also quite aggressive in his third round win over Benoit Paire. After recovering from a second set blip, Thiem, seeded eight, came through 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Sania Mirza's doubles partner – Barbora Strycova – had little worries in her women's singles third round match. The No.16 seed was at the top of her game, beating Caroline Garcia of France 6-2, 7-5.

Rohan Bopanna got his mixed doubles campaign off to a winning start, with the India and his Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski topping Katarina Srebotnik and Michael Venus 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 10-7.

Sania Mirza also picked up a win, with the Indian and Ivan Dodig, the No.2 seeds, getting the better of Laura Siegemund and Mate Pavic 7-5, 6-4.