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Williams sets Australian mark with third-round win

  • Serena Williams of the U.S. takes a drink during a break in her third round match against Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Serena Williams of the U.S. takes a drink during a break in her third round match against Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

  • Serena Williams of the U.S. serves to Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Serena Williams of the U.S. serves to Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

  • Serena Williams of the U.S. takes a drink during a break in her third round match against Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
  • Serena Williams of the U.S. serves to Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time champion Serena Williams has won more matches at the Australian Open than any other woman, notching career win No. 61 today as she advanced to the fourth round with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Daniela Hantuchova on another scorching day at Melbourne Park.

Williams converted her fourth match point on No. 31-seeded Hantuchova’s serve. It was Williams’s 24th consecutive win on the tour back to August, and improved her career record to 61-8 at the Australian Open.

She equaled Margaret Court’s Australian Open mark of 60 wins with her second-round victory, and now has matched Lindsay Davenport’s record of 69 main-draw matches here in the Open era.

The temperature hit 102 during early play today and was expected to rise to 111.

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MELBOURNE, Australia – Maria Sharapova was already soaking in ice by the time the extreme weather warning arrived. It seemed bafflingly late to the four-time major winner, who felt fried after playing for 3 ½ hours in searing heat to reach the third round of the Australian Open. She didn’t know it when she was out on Rod Laver Arena tangling …

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