Serena says she wasn't close to Coco Gauff's level at 15

MELBOURNE Serena Williams said she wasn't close to just 15 years old Coco gauff when he was that age when the great American reached the Australian Open third round on Wednesday despite being far from its best.

The 38-year-old, who lives up to the 24-record Grand Slam record of Australian Margaret Court, fought a stubborn Tamara Zidansek 6-2, 6-3.

Williams faces the 27th seed of China Wang Qiang next and he could meet his American compatriot Gauff in the quarterfinals in Melbourne.

The former world number one and Gauff, promoted as a possible long-term successor of Williams at the top of women's tennis, spent part of the offseason together.

Williams, sporting a pair of koalas painted on his nails in the light of the devastation of Australia's forest fires, was very impressed by what he saw in the fighter Gauff.

She is simply impressive overall, from her personality to the way she plays, said Williams, the highest-achieving female athlete in the world.

I think everything is super awesome.

He was not close to his level at 15 on the court or off the court, not even close.

I know that children are growing differently today, so I'm not sure. But he was not as intelligent and eloquent as her.

It is nice to see.

Gauff expelled Serena's older sister, Venus, in the first round in Melbourne, having done the same at Wimbledon last year.

Venus turns 40 in June, but Serena said she will be the first to retire from the two sisters.

Venus will overtake me, for sure, she loves tennis a lot, said Serena, who is in the twilight of her career, but has given no indication that she plans to leave soon.

She works hard on that, she just has bad luck, sometimes in terms of health, obviously.

Williams never had serious problems against Slovenian Zidansek number 70 in his second round match in Rod Laver Arena .

But Zidansek, 22, resisted in the second set and Williams failed to break twice when he was 40-0 with the stubborn service of his opponent.

Williams, eighth seeded, described herself as frustrated for not having buried her opponent and finally greeted the crowd halfway.

"I was making a lot of errors. Probably the most errors I've made since the start of the year," said Williams, whose last Grand Slam triumph arrived at the Australian Open in 2017.

Williams, who has won the Australian Open seven times, thrashed third-round opponent Wang 6-1, 6-0 when they met in the US Open quarter-finals last year.

Williams lost only three games in his initial victory over Russian teenager Anastasia Potapova on Monday in Melbourne.