After world number two seed Maria Sharapova comfortably disposed of Petra Martic of Croatia on Monday, the top seed Serena Williams duly also took her place in round two today in straight sets. Suffering from inconsistent recent form, including some extremely unflattering results in the Hopman Cup mixed-team event against Eugenie Bouchard and Agnieszka Radwanska, there is a bit of uncertainty hanging over the chances for Williams to take the title this year and indeed how well she will perform on court in Melbourne.

The five-time Australian Open winner's 6-0 first set performance seemed to bode well against Belgium's Alison van Uytvanck, but the all too frequent inconsistencies that have plagued her in recent times surfaced once more in the second set, before she unconvincingly struggled to take it 6-4.

Serena has failed to progress beyond the last eight since 2010 in Melbourne, so a decent run in this year's tournament seems to be long overdue.

Her good friend Caroline Wozniacki from Denmark also made it through to the second round with a solid victory over the American teenager Taylor Townsend, surviving a first set tie-break before coming through in straight sets. The eighth seed displayed admirable match play toughness in saving seven of the eight break points that the 18-year-old Townsend forced during the match, as the American's 34 unforced errors ultimately proved to be her downfall. She promises to be one to watch out for in the coming years though.

Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova is also through after her 6-1 6-4 dismissal of Richel Hogenkamp of the Netherlands.

The number four seed holds the rather unique distinction of being the only player born in the 1990s to have won a Grand Slam title.

Former champion and world number one Victoria Azarenka had a relatively comfortable success over American Sloane Stephens, as she continues on the comeback trail after slipping down the rankings following injury last year.

The unseeded Belarussian could be a dark horse for the tournament if her form can hold up.

Three more seeded players fell today to join the seven that went out yesterday, as the draw begins to open up already for some of the unseeded players. The runner-up to Heather Watson in Hobart, Madison Brengle put out Andrea Petkovic, and Flavia Pennetta and Jelena Jankovic were the other unlucky seeds who lost today. They joined number five seed Ana Ivanovic and number nine seed Angelique Kerber who were beaten yesterday.