Li Na, the No.5 seed, needed just 62 minutes to beat Australian wildcard Olivia Rogowska in the first match of the day on Rod Laver Arena, 62 62. "The score makes it look easy, but some of the games we were fighting a lot," Li said. "I like Rod Laver Arena a lot. I have a lot of good memories from last year."
Li has now won an impressive 22 of her last 25 matches in Australia.
Next up for the Chinese No.1 will be No.26 seed Anabel Medina Garrigues, who made just seven unforced errors during a 61 60 win over Olga Govortsova. Li and Medina Garrigues have played four times before, with the results perhaps a bit surprising - Medina Garrigues has won all four previous meetings.
Peng Shuai, China's No.2 and the No.16 seed here, wasn't as fortunate, falling to Czech veteran Iveta Benesova, 62 64. Benesova, who has always done very well in Australia - just last year she beat two Top 20 players en route to her first Grand Slam second week here - hit 20 forehand winners in the match.
Standing in the way of Benesova and another fourth round here will be Russian qualifier Nina Bratchikova, who followed her first round win over No.19 seed Flavia Pennetta with a 62 61 win over another Italian, Alberta Brianti.
No.11 seed and defending champion Kim Clijsters was also an early winner on Day 3, beating Frenchwoman Stéphanie Foretz Gacon in 47 minutes, 60 61. "In my first match I didn't really have the rhythm I would have liked to have, but today I was hitting the ball well," Clijsters said. "From the beginning until the end, I didn't really let her play her game. I did what I had to do well."
Awaiting Clijsters in the next round is No.20 seed Daniela Hantuchova, who lost the first set and fought back from a break down three times in the second set to beat Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko, 46 64 63. Clijsters leads Hantuchova in their head-to-head, 9-1, with Hantuchova's only win coming in their most recent meeting - Clijsters retired with a hip injury in Brisbane two weeks ago.
"Daniela and I go back a long way. We used to play under-14 events together," Clijsters told ESPN. "What happened in Brisbane was unfortunate, but it's nice to play someone who has been playing as long on the tour as I have. It's nice to have Daniela around and I'm looking forward to playing her again."
Other early winners were No.13 seed Jelena Jankovic, No.22 seed Julia Goerges and Romina Oprandi, who beat No.10 seed Francesca Schiavone, 64 63. Jankovic, a former No.1, beat Taiwanese qualifier Chang Kai-Chen, 64 62 - Chang's best win to date is a win over reigning No.1 Dinara Safina.