Serena and Federer dazzle Prince William

MELBOURNE - Roger Federer and Serena Williams were given the royal seal of approval after dazzling performances at the Australian Open yesterday.

MELBOURNE - Roger Federer and Serena Williams were given the royal seal of approval after dazzling performances at the Australian Open yesterday.

Britain's Prince William was in the stands at the Rod Laver Arena admiring the Swiss master's win over Romania's Victor Hanescu 6-2 6-3 6-2 in the second round.

Federer thanked the prince for attending and met him before Serena Williams and her mother Oracene posed for a picture with the second-in-line to the British throne.

"He was happy he could make it. I'm not gonna tell you everything he just said to me," Federer told a news conference. "He shook a lot of hands. he met Serena and myself."

Federer's polished display dispelled any doubts about his prospects of winning the first Grand Slam of the year after he survived a scare in his opening match with Igor Andreev. "It's still early on in the tournament," Federer said. "You sometimes don't have to force the issue every single time."

Serena had earlier joined older sister Venus in the third round as the main contenders continued to move safely through the draw.

Serena had no problems defeating Czech Petra Kvitova 6-2 6-1 and is steadily improving as she tries to defend the title she won last year, while Venus cruised to a 6-2 7-5 victory over Austria's Sybille Bammer.

"I thought today was a little bit better than my match in my first round," Serena said.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic, the 2008 champion, beat Switzerland's Marco Chiudinelli 3-6 6-1 6-1 6-3. Australia's Lleyton Hewitt survived a dogged challenge from American Donald Young to win 7-6 6-4 6-1. - Reuters

X