Venus Williams downs Lauren Davis again

Venus Williams produced a clinical performance to dismiss fellow American Lauren Davis in the Australian Open second round on Thursday.

The 18th seed at Melbourne Park produced a 6-2 6-3 result in one hour 16 minutes, in a rematch of the pair’s semi-final in the Auckland event earlier in January.

In that clash, Davis accrued only three games – but did have a break lead in the second set.

She would gain the same advantage in both sets on Margaret Court Arena, but she could not convert that into anything greater.

There was more than tennis experience the Ohio native was giving away to Williams, 13 years in age and about one foot in height.

Davis, coming off the heavy loss in New Zealand, was keen on playing a counter-punching role to combat Williams’ superior power, and it worked early – she broke for a 2-0 lead.

But that was a footnote on Williams’ strings, which rounded off the next three games for the loss of just four points.

Williams then got herself in front by a break for the first time in the match, with Davis double faulting on game point and two forehand errors seeing her early momentum sapped.

Davis was battling hard and giving Williams little – she only accrued three more unforced errors for the set – but the power of the seven-time major winner’s game showed as she reeled off six straight games to claim the first set.

As in their clash across the Tasman, Williams’ service woes were present – she landed her first ball on 43 per cent of the time in the first set – but she still managed to dominate.

Davis, though, started the second set as the first – with a break – but there was a sense of d j vu when Williams broke back and led 2-1.

Williams continued to trouble Davis, and it was not all power – she would actively alternate short balls with deep ones to upset the rhythm of her less-experienced opponent.

And Williams broke for a fifth straight return game to lead 3-1, as she continued to mask her dismal first-service percentage – which had dipped into the 30s.

Davis finally held serve for the second time in the match to pull back for 2-4, but it was in vain as Williams served out the contest.