Melbourne: Five-time champion Serena Williams brushed off fears about her injured ankle Thursday as she sailed into the Australian Open's third round with her 500th career win.
The American 12th seed, who pulled out of this month's Brisbane International after rolling her ankle on court, fell awkwardly in the final game of her 6-0, 6-4 win against Czech opponent Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.
"It's fine, I just have really wobbly ankles," she said. "I wasn't meant to be a ballerina."
The 30-year-old American, who won the Australian Open in 2009 and 2010 but missed last year's tournament through injury, has now won 16 consecutive matches at Melbourne Park.
The victory was also her 210th at a grand slam, putting her equal with sister Venus and tied for fourth on the all-time list behind Martina Navratilova (306), Chris Evert (298) and Steffi Graf (278).
Williams had started slowly in her first round match against Tamira Paszek but she raced out of the blocks on Thursday, wrapping up the first set in a quickfire 22 minutes.
She looked headed for an equally emphatic second set before Zahlavova Strycova began to fight back, pulling back to 4-5 and holding three game points to get to 5-5.
However, Williams stepped up a gear and won the next five points to secure the win, despite her heavy fall in the last game.