MELBOURNE, Jan 24 (AFP): World number one Serena Williams took time to wake up before sizzling into the Australian Open fourth round today, joining resurgent sister Venus and men�s defending champion Stan Wawrinka.
The American top seed, vying for a sixth Australian title and the first since 2010, was slow to get in the groove against 26th-ranked Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, going down 6-4 in the first set.
But she shook off the cobwebs under the blazing sun on Rod Laver Arena to rattle through the next two sets 6-2, 6-0.
It keeps alive her quest to add a 19th Grand Slam title, which would take her to clear second on the all-time Open Era Grand Slam winners list.
She currently has 18 alongside Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova and is four behind German great Steffi Graf�s 22. �When in doubt just start running as fast as you can, that�s what Venus always told me, that helped,� said Williams, whose world number one ranking is on the line if she fails to win the tournament.
She added that her sister�s late-career renaissance was an inspiration.
�She�s winning, she�s doing so well and I can do better. We always motivate each other. I�m so proud of her and we�re so excited.�
Women�s fourth seed Petra Kvitova, two-time champion Victoria Azarenka and men�s fifth seed Kei Nishikori are also in action.
Wawrinka, who beat Rafael Nadal in the final last year, could meet Djokovic in the semi-finals and stayed on track with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 drubbing of Finland�s Jarkko Nieminen.
The Swiss, who was always in control, was pleased with his progress so far.
�It�s been three really good matches, I think my game is there and I�m really happy to get through again,� said Wawrinka, who will next meet Spain�s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
Eighth seed Canadian Milos Raonic also went through, sweeping aside Germany�s Benjamin Becker in straight sets.
It was a day to remember for the Williams clan with Venus making the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time since Wimbledon 2011.
The evergreen 34-year-old battled from behind to defeat Camila Giorgi of Italy 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-1 and set up a fourth round clash with dangerous Pole Agnieszka Radwanska.
�That feels fantastic, especially when you have things happen in your life which are out of your control,� said Venus, a seven-time Grand Slam winner who has had a long battle with the energy-sapping Sjogren�s Syndrome.
�I don�t want to leave it at that, I�ll try to keep going,� she added, clearly enjoying the moment in front of an appreciative crowd on Margaret Court Arena.
Radwanska defeated American Varvara Lepchenko 6-0, 7-5 and has doled out a dreaded 6-0 �bagel� to each of her three opponents at Melbourne Park.
She said she was looking forward to facing Venus, who she beat in the Montreal final last year.
�I think playing her is always a great challenge,� said Radwanska, who has made the quarter-finals or better in Melbourne on her last four visits.
�I think she is still playing great tennis even she�s a bit older. She�s still really fit and playing a high level. I think it�s going to be another good match.�
Last year�s finalist Dominika Cibulkova kept her title hopes alive by beating France�s Alize Cornet and will face either Azarenka or Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.
Serena will now play face Spain�s Garbine Muguruza, who beat Switzerland�s Timea Bacsinszky 6-3, 4-6, 6-0. The 24th seed ousted Serena at the French Open last year.