Williams admitted before the match that she knew little about Duan. However, this unfamiliarity caused her no problems on Margaret Court Arena, the No.13 seed romping to a 6-1, 6-0 victory.
Williams, a finalist at Melbourne in 2003, made her experience tell, capitalizing on Duan's misfiring backhand to break in a marathon second game. The World No.87 would have to wait three more games before getting on the scoreboard, by which time the set was long gone.
When Duan opened the second set by dropping serve in another long game, the end appeared nigh. Williams duly pressed home her advantage, surrendering only eight more points to confidently close out the match.
"We had a lot of deuce games. Honestly, she is very competitive," Williams said. "You can see that she wants to win. We had some really long games that I think were pivotal, very important for the match. Two-love in the first set. One-love in the second set. We were just fighting back and forth.
"This is her first time in the third round. It's a lot of pressure. Having the opportunity to play this third round, play against a player of my experience, is going to be a huge stepping stone for her. She's got talent. She's in the Top 100. It's perfect for women's tennis."