Victoria Azarenka served notice she is a serious contender for honours at the Australian Open with a brutal 6-0, 6-2 defeat of Elina Svitolina on Friday.

Azarenka blew Svitolina away in 67 minutes to become the first player through to the Open’s last 16.

“I feel like I played really well tactically and that really never let her into the game,” Azarenka said.

“She’s a great competitor and I tried to stay on top of her as much as possible and not let her breathe in a way.

Victoria Azarenka in third round action. Photo: KARL WINTER

“That was my goal before the match and I feel like I executed that well.”

Next up will be an interesting clash against either fourth-seeded French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova or 26th seed Jelena Ostapenko on Sunday.