The world No. 1 made short work of her opponent as she lost just two points on her serve in the entire match, racing to a 6-1, 6-1 victory in 44 minutes, per the tournament's official website.
For the American, the match represented an impressive milestone in the tournament, per its official Twitter feed:
Serena is on court for the 80th #AusOpen match of her career. She takes on 18-year-old Daria Kasatkina https://t.co/EkBH90hxqa1/22/2016, 8:33:53 AM
The Russian, meanwhile, was competing in just her second Grand Slam after taking part in the U.S. Open in 2015.
A loose forehand from Williams handed Kasatkina the first point of the match, but the 21-time Grand Slam winner set the tone for the contest as she roared back to claim the opening game with some strong serving and typically powerful winners.
In the second, the 18-year-old appeared to be succumbing to the pressure as she made consecutive double-faults to hand her illustrious opponent an early and easy break.
Bleacher Report columnist Merlisa Lawrence Corbett believed the tie was as good as over:
#SerenaWilliams opponent looks scared. If that's the case, this match is already over. #AusOpen1/22/2016, 8:48:30 AM
A straightforward hold to love followed as the 34-year-old raced to a 3-0 lead in the opener.
Despite producing another double-fault and allowing Williams two break points in the fourth, Kasatkina fought hard to hold her serve and claim her first game in the match.
The American's serving continued to impress as she powered her way through yet another game with consummate ease, before breaking her young opponent once more—yet again with help from a double-fault.
From there, the first set was quickly sewn up, per the Australian Open:
The world No. 1s getting the job done early doors... #AusOpen Serena 6-1 Kasatkina Djokovic 6-2 2-2 Seppi https://t.co/bnAalEZo8N1/22/2016, 9:04:02 AM
The second set proceeded much like the first, with WTA Insider noting Kasatkina's struggles on her serve as she was broken in the first game:
WTA Insider @WTA_insider
Serena makes mincemeat of Kasatkina’s second serve. She doesn’t make another serve the rest of the game. B2B DFs, Serena breaks.1/22/2016, 8:43:31 AM
With a combination of magnificent serving, strong forehands and exquisite volleys, Williams readily dismantled her opponent. The New York Times' Ben Rothenberg ran the rule over both players:
Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg
Serena: dang good. 27 winners 8 unforced 96% of first serve pts won 18 pts lost Plays another Russian, Margarita Gasparyan, next. #AusOpen1/22/2016, 9:27:43 AM
Per BBC Sport's Andy Cryer, Williams admitted she felt good about her performance and praised her young opponent:
"I think I played well. Everything I did went right. I have so many memories of being 18, Darya has such a bright future, she is so young. Her team is doing an amazing job and she is heading in the right direction."
With Williams in such incredible form, it's difficult to see past her to claim the Grand Slam outright.
Of course, as the tournament progresses, she'll face much sterner challenges than she did here, with Margarita Gasparyan looking to provide that in the next round.
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