Aryna Sabalenka advanced to a possible fourth-round showdown against Serena Williams at the Australian Open today, beating American Ann Li 6-3, 6-1 in under an hour.

Play began as the Victoria State government announced a lockdown in Melbourne from Friday night because of 13 COVID-19 cases, with fans banned from attending matches.

Aryna Sabalenka reacts during her match against Daria Kasatkina. Photo: Tennis Australia/ JONATHAN DI MAGGIO

“I really want to play well in the Grand Slams, go as far as I can,” Sabalenka said.

“I’m trying to come out in the big stadiums and show my best.”

The Belarusian overpowered Li with powerful forehand winers the American had no answer to.

Sabalenka, 22, said she would be ready for a possible clash with Williams.

“I’ll prepare myself as good as I can,” Sabalenka said.

Earlier, No. 19-seeded Marketa Vondrousova beat Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-4.